JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

MEMO—a mobile phone depression prevention intervention for adolescents: development process and postprogram findings on acceptability from a randomized controlled trial

Robyn Whittaker, Sally Merry, Karolina Stasiak, Heather McDowell, Iain Doherty, Matthew Shepherd, Enid Dorey, Varsha Parag, Shanthi Ameratunga, Anthony Rodgers
Journal of Medical Internet Research 2012, 14 (1): e13
22278284

BACKGROUND: Prevention of the onset of depression in adolescence may prevent social dysfunction, teenage pregnancy, substance abuse, suicide, and mental health conditions in adulthood. New technologies allow delivery of prevention programs scalable to large and disparate populations.

OBJECTIVE: To develop and test the novel mobile phone delivery of a depression prevention intervention for adolescents. We describe the development of the intervention and the results of participants' self-reported satisfaction with the intervention.

METHODS: The intervention was developed from 15 key messages derived from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). The program was fully automated and delivered in 2 mobile phone messages/day for 9 weeks, with a mixture of text, video, and cartoon messages and a mobile website. Delivery modalities were guided by social cognitive theory and marketing principles. The intervention was compared with an attention control program of the same number and types of messages on different topics. A double-blind randomized controlled trial was undertaken in high schools in Auckland, New Zealand, from June 2009 to April 2011.

RESULTS: A total of 1348 students (13-17 years of age) volunteered to participate at group sessions in schools, and 855 were eventually randomly assigned to groups. Of these, 835 (97.7%) self-completed follow-up questionnaires at postprogram interviews on satisfaction, perceived usefulness, and adherence to the intervention. Over three-quarters of participants viewed at least half of the messages and 90.7% (379/418) in the intervention group reported they would refer the program to a friend. Intervention group participants said the intervention helped them to be more positive (279/418, 66.7%) and to get rid of negative thoughts (210/418, 50.2%)--significantly higher than proportions in the control group.

CONCLUSIONS: Key messages from CBT can be delivered by mobile phone, and young people report that these are helpful. Change in clinician-rated depression symptom scores from baseline to 12 months, yet to be completed, will provide evidence on the effectiveness of the intervention. If proven effective, this form of delivery may be useful in many countries lacking widespread mental health services but with extensive mobile phone coverage. CLINICALTRIAL: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN): 12609000405213; http://www.anzctr.org.au/trial_view.aspx?ID=83667 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/64aueRqOb).

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
22278284
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"