The study aimed to evaluate whether resilience-oriented cognitive behavioral interventions (CBIs) which teach cognitive, problem-solving, and social skills are effective for addressing depressive symptoms in the school setting and to investigate factors that could moderate the intervention effects.
Electronic databases Medline, PsycINFO and Cochrane Central were searched to identify potentially relevant trials. The difference of change from baseline in depressive symptoms between intervention and control condition was assessed. Mean effect sizes (Hedges'g) were calculated using random-effects models. Study-specific characteristics relevant to participant demographics (age, gender, and risk status), intervention conditions (program type, intervention duration, group leader type, and use of homework), and study features (sample size, and methodological quality) were evaluated as potential moderators of the effect size.
38 controlled studies were identified, including 24,135 individuals. At post-intervention, the mean effect size was considered significantly small (Hedges'g = 0.13) and subgroup analyses revealed significant effect sizes for programs administered to both universal and targeted samples, programs both with and without homework, and programs led by school personnel. The mean effect size was largely maintained at 6 months follow-up and subgroup analyses indicated significant effect sizes for programs administered to targeted samples, programs based on Penn Resiliency Program, programs with homework, and programs led by professional interventionists.
This study reinforces the efficacy of resilience-oriented CBIs for addressing depressive symptoms in the school setting. Although more research is needed to confirm and extend the findings of this study, our findings suggest a range of directions in particular for further investigation. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V.
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