Did you know that depression is the fourth leading cause of disability worldwide? Nineteen million Americans experience depression each year.
By using this computer tailored intervention, participants learn how people change, how ready they are to manage their depression, and specific skills which help prepare them to make changes related to:
- Controlling negative thinking
- Engaging in healthy, pleasant activities regularly
- Practicing stress management
- Exercising regularly
- Getting professional help when needed
A Guide for Depression Prevention
A stage-based manual to help adults prevent or manage depression.
For ordering information, see our manuals order page.
Our clinical effectiveness trial1, of the Depression Prevention program included 902 adults at risk for depression recruited from primary care waiting rooms and by telephone. The treatment group received a stages of change manual and a computer tailored individualized printed report in the mail, and additional individualized reports at one and three months follow-up.
Effect: At nine months, treatment group participants who were not initially managing their depression were significantly more likely than control group participants to:
- Experience a significant reduction in depression (34% vs. 18%, respectively)
- Be managing their depression prevention (69% vs. 57% respectively)
- Be taking antidepressant medication if prescribed (66% vs. 49%)
Among study participants who were managing their depression, the intervention prevented the onset of depression (12% of treatment participants vs. 20% of control participants experienced a new episode of Major Depression during the follow-up period).
Scientific program description:
The Transtheoretical Model of Behavior Change Depression Prevention program is designed for individuals who screen positive for depression symptoms and are not currently involved in counseling. The aim of the program is to increase the use of effective methods for reducing and preventing depression symptoms, including controlling negative thinking, engaging in healthy, pleasant activities, practicing stress management, exercising, and getting professional help when needed. The program, administered at 0, 1, and 3 months, assesses and gives feedback on: 1) level of depression; 2) use of effective methods for reducing and preventing depression; and 3) stage of change, decisional balance, self-efficacy, and stage-matched processes of change. The 1- and 3-month feedback lets users know how they’ve changed on all dimensions over time. The companion online Personal Activity Center provides definitions of the stages of change and stage-matched information and exercises, teaches users how to recognize and monitor symptoms of depression, describes different types of treatment for depression, and teaches traditional self-help techniques. Developed with support from Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant R44 MH60522 from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
1.Levesque, D.A., Van Marter, D.F., Schneider, R.J., Bauer, M.R., Goldberg, D.N., Prochaska, J.O., & Prochaska, J.M. (2011). Randomized trial of a computer-tailored intervention for patients with depression. American Journal of Health Promotion, 26, 77-89.