Qualitative evaluation of a preventive intervention for the offspring of parents with a history of depression

Claus, Nathalie ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4081-4952, Marzano, Lisa ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9735-3512, Loechner, Johanna, Starman, Kornelija, Voggt, Alessandra, Loy, Fabian, Wermuth, Inga, Haemmerle, Stephanie, Engelmann, Lina, Bley, Mirjam, Schulte-Koerne, Gerd and Platt, Belinda (2019) Qualitative evaluation of a preventive intervention for the offspring of parents with a history of depression. BMC Psychiatry, 19 (1) , 290. pp. 1-16. ISSN 1471-244X [Article] (doi:10.1186/s12888-019-2273-6)

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Meta-analyses of randomised controlled trials suggest that psychological interventions to reduce children’s risk of depression are effective. Nevertheless, these effects are modest and diminish over time. The Medical Research Council recommends a mixed-methods approach to the evaluation of complex interventions. By gaining a more thorough understanding of participants’ perspectives, qualitative evaluations of preventive interventions could improve their efficacy, longevity and transfer into clinical practice.

18 parents and 22 children who had received a 12-session family- and group-based cognitivebehavioural intervention to prevent youth depression as part of a randomised controlled trial took part in semistructured interviews or a focus group about aspects which had been perceived as helpful, elements they were still using after the intervention had ended, and suggestions they had for improving the intervention.

The chance to openly share and discuss their experiences of depression within and between families was considered helpful by both children and parents. Children benefitted the most from learning coping strategies for dealing with stress and many still used them in everyday life. Parents profited mostly from increasing positive family time, but noted that maintaining new routines after the end of the intervention proved difficult. Participants were generally content with the intervention but commented on how tiring and time consuming it was.

Managing parents’ expectations of family-based interventions in terms of their own mental health needs (versus those of their children) and leaving more room for open discussions may result in interventions which are more appealing to participating families. Increasing intervals between sessions may be one means of improving the longevity of interventions.

Trial registration: The original RCT this evaluation is a part of was registered under NCT02115880.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Research Article, Child, adolescent and developmental psychiatry, Prevention of depression, Offspring of depressed parents, Qualitative evaluation, Mixed-methods approach
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 27722
Notes on copyright: © The Author(s). 2019 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2019 20:53
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2022 10:34
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/27722

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