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Prevention of depression and anxiety: is the whole better than the sum of the parts?
  1. Sally Merry1,
  2. Sarah Hetrick2
  1. 1University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
  2. 2University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Sally Merry; s.merry{at}

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What is already known on this topic

Depression and anxiety in young people are major causes of disability. There is potential for prevention by using effective treatment strategies for the disorders, but previously effects for depression and anxiety have not been aggregated. In this paper, the combined effects of prevention programmes on depression and anxiety are examined.

Methods of the study

MEDLINE, PsycINFO and the Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews were searched for systematic reviews from 1980 to 2014, and randomised controlled trials (RCTs) from August 2010 to August 2014. No search for unpublished studies was undertaken. For the systematic reviews, these included reviews of RCTs of programmes to prevent the onset of either depressive or anxiety disorders in children aged 5–18 years, published in English, with outcomes that included valid diagnoses or symptom measures of anxiety or depression and data that could be extracted. The later search for RCTs …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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