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‘Pesky gNATs’: investigating the feasibility of a novel computerized CBT intervention for adolescents with anxiety and/or depression in a Tier 3 CAMHS setting

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 December 2016

Rosanna Chapman*
Affiliation:
University of Bath, Bath, UK
Maria Loades
Affiliation:
University of Bath, Bath, UK
Gary O'Reilly
Affiliation:
University College Dublin, School of Psychology, Newman Building, Belfield, Dublin
David Coyle
Affiliation:
School of Computer Science, Science Centre – East, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin
Mags Patterson
Affiliation:
North Somerset Specialist Children's Community Services, The Barn, Clevedon, UK
Paul Salkovskis
Affiliation:
University of Bath, Bath, UK
*
*Author for correspondence: Dr R. Chapman, University of Bath, Claverton Down Road, Bath BA2 7AY, UK (email: rosanna.chapman@nhs.net).

Abstract

Increasingly, evidence suggests that computerized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT) is effective at reducing adolescent anxiety and depression for young people in the general population or those ‘at risk’. However, less is known about the acceptability, feasibility and effectiveness of cCBT for adolescents with clinically significant levels of impairment. This study aimed to investigate the feasibility of using a novel cCBT intervention, ‘Pesky gNATs’, with adolescents aged between 13–18 years with anxiety and/or depression who met the criteria for specialist mental health services. Eleven participants were recruited from a Tier 3 child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS). Recruitment, attendance and retention rates were recorded and qualitative feedback about the benefits and disadvantages of completing cCBT were obtained during the final session. In addition, a number of outcome measures were completed pre- and post- intervention to assess reliable and clinically significant change. The intervention was very brief comprising of just seven sessions. Participants showed high recruitment and retention rates. All participants who started the intervention completed it. All described the programme as useful and the majority identified several benefits. Four of 11 participants demonstrated reliable reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety and six of 11 showed decreases in parent-reported symptoms of anxiety and depression following the seven-session intervention. This study demonstrates the acceptability and feasibility of using cCBT in a Tier 3 CAMHS setting. Further research is required to investigate the effect of Pesky gNATs on anxiety and depression in other Tier 3 settings.

Type
Original Research
Copyright
Copyright © British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies 2016 

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References

Recommended follow-up reading

Pennant, ME, Loucas, CE, Whittington, C, Creswell, C, Fonagy, P, Fuggle, P, Kendall, T (2015). Computerised therapies for anxiety and depression in children and young people: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Behaviour Research and Therapy 67, 118.Google Scholar
Stallard, P, Richardson, T, Velleman, S, Attwood, M (2011). Computerized CBT (think, feel, do) for depression and anxiety in children and adolescents: outcomes and feedback from a pilot randomized controlled trial. Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy 39, 273284 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Stasiak, K, Fleming, T, Lucassen, MF, Shepherd, MJ, Whittaker, R, Merry, SN (2016). Computer-based and online therapy for depression and anxiety in children and adolescents. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology 26, 235245.Google Scholar

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