The Spanish version of the unified protocol for transdiagnostic treatment of emotional disorders in adolescents (up-a) adapted as a school-based anxiety and depression prevention program: Study protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial

Julia García-Escalera, Rosa M. Valiente, Paloma Chorot, Jill Ehrenreich-May, Sarah M. Kennedy, Bonifacio Sandín

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Anxiety and depression are common, impairing conditions that evidence high comorbidity rates in adolescence. The Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Adolescents (UP-A) is one of the few existing resources aimed at applying transdiagnostic treatment principles to target core dysfunctions associated with both anxiety and depression within a single protocol. To our knowledge, this is the first study examining the efficacy of the UP-A adapted as a universal preventive intervention program. Objective: The primary aim of this study is to examine whether the Spanish version of the UP-A is more effective than a waitlist (WL) control group in reducing and preventing symptoms of anxiety and depression when employed as a universal, classroom-based preventive intervention. The secondary aim is to investigate changes in a broad range of secondary outcome measures, including negative and positive affect, anxiety sensitivity, emotional avoidance, top problems ratings, school grades, depression and anxiety-related interference, self-esteem, life satisfaction, quality of life, conduct problems, hyperactivity/inattention symptoms, peer problems, prosocial behavior, school adjustment, and discipline problems. Other aims are to assess a range of possible predictors of intervention effects and to examine the feasibility and the acceptability of implementing UP-A in a prevention group format and in a school setting. Methods: A cluster, randomized, WL, controlled trial design with classroom as the unit of randomization was used in this study. Five classes including a total of 152 adolescents were randomized to the experimental or WL control groups. Participants in the experimental group received 9 55-minute sessions delivered by advanced doctoral and masters students in clinical psychology. The WL control group will receive the intervention once the 3-month follow-up assessment is completed. Results: We have recruited participants to the cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) and have conducted the intervention with the experimental group. We expect the WL control group to complete the intervention in July 2017. Data analysis will take place during the second semester of 2017. Conclusions: We expect the experimental group to outperform the WL control group at post-intervention and 3-month follow-up. We also expect the WL control group to show improvements in primary and secondary outcome measures after receiving the intervention. Results will have implications for researchers, families, and education providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere149
JournalJMIR Research Protocols
Volume6
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Anxiety
  • Cluster
  • Depression
  • Emotional disorders
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • School intervention
  • Transdiagnostic
  • Unified protocol
  • Universal prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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