How effective are psychological and educational interventions in preventing the onset of depression in children and adolescents (aged 5–19 years)?
Allocation concealment was unclear in most studies, and there was heterogeneity in the findings. There was also a lack of categorisation of the psychotherapies included, although most of the interventions were based on cognitive behavioural therapy strategies. There were few educational programmes in the review, and there was no evidence of efficacy in the few studies that compared intervention with placebo or attention controls.
Depression is common in young people, has a marked negative impact and is associated with self-harm and suicide. Preventing its onset would be an important advance in public health.