Development and Test Effectiveness of a School-Based Cognitive Behavioral Group Therapy for Depression in Adolescents
Objectives : This study was to develop and test the effectiveness of a school-based cognitive
behavioral group therapy (CBT) for depression in children and adolescents.
Methods : A research and development design was used to study, consisting of two phases.
The first phase was the development stage based on the concept of CBT. Three researchers
who developed this program were trained and experienced in term of CBT in childhood and
adolescence. The CBT program was also evaluated and provided suggestions from an expert
on CBT. The CBT program was divided into six sessions in every session for about 60 minutes,
and it performed in six weeks. The second phase is the evaluation of the CBT program.
Twenty-six participants were children and adolescents experiencing depression and studying
in junior and senior high school of a public school in Ubon Ratchathani province. They were
examined by the revision of 9-questions of an assessment tool for depressive symptoms and
diagnosed by a child and adolescent psychiatrist before recruiting them into the CBT program.
The 9-Q-revision were also used to assess depressive symptoms of the participants after the
end of the program immediately, including follow-up in one and three months. The data were
analyzed using frequency, percentage, and Repeated Measures ANOVA.
Results : The CBT program consists of six sessions, namely, insight into depression, happiness
activities, be aware of own thought, be mindful of own emotion, management own problems,
and set up own goal. The subjects who were willing to participate in all six sessions of the CBT
program were twenty-three persons. The majority of the participants aged 14 years-old (39.1%)
and average aged 14.6 years-old (S.D.=1.335). Most of them were female students approximately
34.8%. Evaluation of the CBT program found that average a score of depressive
symptoms in the participants reduced significantly after finishing the CBT program (p<0.01).
The follow-up period in one and three months also indicated that average a score of depressive
symptoms in participants significantly decreased (p<0.01) when compared with the score
before attending the CBT program. Two participants have still observed the high-risk of suicide.
Conclusion : The school-based cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBT) for depression in
children and adolescents has shown the effectiveness to reduce depressive symptoms.
Therefore, this CBT program should be implemented and applied to childhood and adolescence
experiencing depression in junior and senior high schools.