PCORI has identified multiple sclerosis (MS) as an important research topic. Patients, clinicians, and others want to learn how different treatment strategies, aimed at changing specific symptoms or the overall course of MS, affect patients’ symptoms and quality of life. To address this issue, PCORI launched a funding initiative in 2015, Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. This research project is one of the studies PCORI awarded as part this program.
COVID-19-Related Project Enhancement
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in mental health concerns in individuals of all ages. Adolescents’ mental health is especially affected due to social isolation, uncertainty regarding school and the potential start of college, fears of loved ones becoming ill, etc. These factors are associated with increases in depression and anxiety during the pandemic. Interventions to address adolescents’ mental health during and after this stressful time are needed.
This project enhancement will compare two interventions aimed to prevent the onset on depression in adolescents who have elevated levels of depressive symptoms. Adolescents will be recruited from the general public using a public health campaign model.
Enhancement Award Amount: $500,000*
This research project is in progress. PCORI will post the research findings on this page within 90 days after the results are final.
What is the research about?
Depression is a health problem that causes people to feel sad, hopeless, or empty. Each year, 20 percent of teens are diagnosed with depression. Without treatment, depression often affects teens’ relationships with friends and family; makes it hard to do well in school; and may cause teens to try drugs, cutting, or suicide. But only 25 percent of teens diagnosed with depression get treatment, often because of the stigma of depression.
In this study, the research team is comparing two depression prevention programs for teens:
- Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive Humanistic and Interpersonal Training, or CATCH-IT, a self-guided online program
- Teens Achieving Mastery Over Stress, or TEAMS, a face-to-face group program with other teens
CATCH-IT and TEAMS are both based on a depression prevention program called Coping with Depression-Adolescent. The research team wants to compare how well these programs help teens deal with stress and negative moods and cope with tough situations.
Who can this research help?
Primary care clinicians, mental health professionals, and school-based counselors can use these findings when considering ways to treat teens with depressive symptoms.
What is the research team doing?
The research team is enrolling more than 564 teens ages 13–18 who are receiving care in urban and suburban Chicago and western Illinois, and Louisville, Kentucky. These areas include inner-city, suburban, and rural communities of African-American, Latino, Arab, and white teens as well as teens who identify as LGBTQ. During primary care visits or school screenings, the team is asking teens to fill out a survey about their depression symptoms. The team is inviting teens who have symptoms of depression to join the study. After the teen and parent or guardian consent to take part in the study, they are assigned to either CATCH-IT or TEAMS, depending on the program offered at their primary care clinic or school.
Over the course of 18 months, the research team is looking at changes in the teens’ symptoms of depression and other mental health conditions. They are also asking teens about stress, relationships, and social interactions.
Teens, parents, clinicians, and community groups are helping to plan and carry out the study.
Research methods at a glance
|Design||Randomized controlled trial|
|Population||564 teens with minor symptoms of depression|
Primary: time required for implementation, cultural acceptability, and implementation cost of each program; prevention of depressive episodes; improvement in symptoms, functioning, resiliency, and relationships
Secondary: reduction in substance use, anxiety disorder, and conduct disorder
|18-month follow-up for primary outcomes|
Other Clinical Interventions
Other Health Services Interventions
Training and Education Interventions
Improving Healthcare Systems
*All proposed enhancement projects, including requested project plans, budgets and milestone schedules, are approved subject to a programmatic and budget review by PCORI staff and the negotiation of a formal award modification.