Depressed Adolescents IPTA

Mufson, Moreau & Weissman (1993) modified IPT to address developmental issues of adolescence. In adapting IPT to this population, they added a fifth problem area and potential focus: the single parent family. This interpersonal situation appeared frequently in their adolescent treatment population and actually reflected multiple wider social problems in an economically deprived, high crime and drug-filled neighbourhood. Other adaptations included family and school contacts. The researchers completed a controlled 12-week clinical trial comparing IPT-A to clinical monitoring in 48 clinic-referred, 12- to 18-year-old patients who met DSM-III-R criteria for major depressive disorder. Thirty-two patients completed the protocol (21 IPT-A, 11 controls). Patients who received IPT-A reported significantly greater improvement in depressive symptoms and social functioning, including interpersonal functioning and problem-solving skills (Mufson, Weissman & Moreau, 1999). Mufson is completing a follow-up trial of IPT-A in a large-scale effectiveness study in school-based clinics and is also piloting it in a group format for depressed adolescents.

Rossello and Bernal compared 12 weeks of randomly assigned IPT (n = 22), CBT (n = 25), and a waiting-list control condition (n = 24) for adolescents ages 13 to 18 in Puerto Rico who met DSM-III-R criteria for major depression, dysthymia, or both. The investigators did not use Mufson's IPT-A modification. Both IPT and CBT were more efficacious than the waiting list in improving adolescents' self-rated depressive symptoms. Interpersonal therapy was more efficacious than CBT in increasing self-esteem and social adaptation. (Rossello & Bernal, 1999).

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