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Review: psychological and educational interventions may reduce risk of depressive disorders in children and adolescents

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Question: Are psychological and educational interventions effective for preventing depression in children and adolescents?

Outcomes: Depressive disorder; depressive symptoms. Diagnoses of depressive disorder could either be based on a recognised diagnostic system (eg, DSM-IV-TR, International Classification of Diseases 10), or scoring above a cut-off on a validated, reliable, continuous measure of depression.


Design: Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources: The Cochrane Depression, Anxiety and Neurosis Group two trials registers were searched through to July 2010. The group's original review searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and ERIC and those earlier searches were updated for this present review. Conference abstracts, reference lists of included studies and reviews were also searched and experts in the field were contacted.

Study selection and analysis: Studies eligible for inclusion were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) which compared a psychological or educational intervention programme (or combination of both) with another intervention, placebo (including attention controls) or no intervention (including treatment as usual) in children and adolescents aged between 5 and 19 years. Studies were included if the participants did not currently meet criteria for a clinical diagnosis of depressive illness. Studies that enrolled …

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  • Sources of funding University of Auckland and the Health Research Council, New Zealand.

  • ▸ References and Notes are published online at


  • Competing interests None.

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