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Trajectories of change of youth depressive symptoms in routine care: shape, predictors, and service-use implications

Napoleone, E; Evans, C; Patalay, P; Childs, J; Wolpert, M; (2019) Trajectories of change of youth depressive symptoms in routine care: shape, predictors, and service-use implications. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 10.1007/s00787-019-01317-5. (In press).

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Abstract

Depression is one of the main reasons for youth accessing mental health services, yet we know little about how symptoms change once youth are in routine care. This study used multilevel modeling to examine the average trajectory of change and the factors associated with change in depressive symptoms in a large sample of youth seen in routine mental health care services in England. Participants were 2336 youth aged 8–18 (mean age 14.52; 77% females; 88% white ethnic background) who tracked depressive symptoms over a period of up to 32 weeks while in contact with mental health services. Explanatory variables were age, gender, whether the case was closed, total length of contact with services, and baseline severity in depression scores. Faster rates of improvement were found in older adolescents, males, those with shorter time in contact with services, closed cases, and those with more severe symptoms at baseline. This study demonstrates that when youth self-report their depressive symptoms during psychotherapy, symptoms decrease in a linear trajectory. Attention should be paid to younger people, females, and those with lower than average baseline scores, as their symptoms decrease at a slower pace compared to others.

Type: Article
Title: Trajectories of change of youth depressive symptoms in routine care: shape, predictors, and service-use implications
DOI: 10.1007/s00787-019-01317-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00787-019-01317-5
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Trajectories of change Youth, depressive symptoms, Self-report, Routine data, Mental health
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Clinical, Edu and Hlth Psychology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070203
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