Pragmatic quasi-experimental controlled trial evaluating the outcomes of blended cbt compared to face-to-face cbt and treatment as usual for adolescents with depressive disorders

Sanne P. A. Rasing*, Yvonne A. J. Stikkelbroek, Wouter den Hollander, Heleen Riper, Maja Deković, Maaike H. Nauta, Daan H. M. Creemers, Marianne C. P. Immink, Mariken Spuij, Denise H. M. Bodden

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Depression is a major problem in youth mental health. Current treatment is on average effective, but adolescents are hesitant to seek help. Blended treatment could lower the barriers to seeking treatment. Evidence on effectiveness is, however, scarce. The present pragmatic quasi-experimental controlled trial aimed to compare the outcomes of blended cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to face-to-face CBT and treatment as usual. A total of 129 adolescents with clinical depression (82.2% female), aged 13–22 (M = 16.60, SD = 2.03) received blended CBT, face-to-face CBT or treatment as usual. Clinical diagnosis, depressive symptoms, and secondary outcomes were assessed at baseline, post-intervention, and six-months follow-up. Participants receiving blended CBT were, compared to participants receiving face-to-face CBT and treatment as usual, evenly likely to be in remission from their depressive disorder at post-intervention and at six-month follow-up. Depressive symptoms decreased significantly over time in all three conditions, and changes were not significantly different between conditions. Other secondary outcomes (suicide risk, internalizing and externalizing symptoms, severity of depression, and global functioning) did not differ between treatment conditions at post-intervention and six-month follow-up. Since there was no evidence for favorable outcomes for face-to-face therapies above blended CBT, blended CBT may also be an effective treatment format in clinical practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3102
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2021

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