The Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Adolescents (UP-A) Adapted as a School-Based Anxiety and Depression Prevention Program: An Initial Cluster Randomized Wait-List-Controlled Trial

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

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Abstract

Anxiety and depression are common debilitating conditions that show high comorbidity rates in adolescence. The Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders in Adolescents (UP-A; Ehrenreich-May et al., 2018) is one of the few existing resources aimed at applying transdiagnostic treatment principles across the core dysfunctions implicated in the development of both anxiety and depression using a single protocol. This is the first known controlled study to examine the efficacy of the UP-A adapted as a nine-session universal preventive intervention program delivered in a school setting. A total of 151 students (mean age: 15.05) participated in this randomized wait-list-controlled trial conducted in Madrid, Spain. An unexpected decline in anxiety and depression levels from pre- to posttreatment and follow-up was found in both groups (p =.009, d = –0.22), and overall differences between conditions did not reach significance. Exploratory analyses of baseline emotional symptom severity as a potential predictor trended toward a significantly greater decrease in symptoms of depression for those with greater baseline emotional symptoms in the UP-A group compared to the wait-list-control group. Future trials with larger samples are justified to estimate the effect of the UP-A adapted as a selective prevention program for anxiety and depression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBehavior Therapy
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • Unified Protocol for Transdiagnostic Treatment of Emotional Disorders
  • adolescents
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • universal prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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