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Do adolescents consider mind-body skills groups an acceptable treatment for depression: results from a pilot study.

Cunningham LD, Salgado EF, Aalsma MC, Garabrant JM, Staples JK, Gordon JS, Salyers MP. Do adolescents consider mind-body skills groups an acceptable treatment for depression: results from a pilot study. BMC pediatrics. 2021 Oct 27; 21(1):475.

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BACKGROUND: Mind-Body Skills Groups (MBSGs) have shown promise in reducing adolescent depression symptoms; however, little is known about adolescents'' perspectives on this treatment. The objective of this study was to understand the acceptability of a new treatment for depressed adolescents in primary care settings. METHODS: Adolescents participating in a 10-week MBSG treatment were interviewed to understand their perspectives on the acceptability and effectiveness of the treatment. Interviews were collected at post-intervention and at a 3-month follow-up visit. RESULTS: A total of 39 adolescents completed both the post-intervention and 3-month follow-up interview. At post-intervention and follow-up, 84% of adolescents stated the MBSGs helped them. When asked how the MBSGs helped them, 3 areas were identified: learning new MBSG activities and skills, social connection with others within the group, and outcomes related to the group. Many adolescents reported no concerns with the MBSGs (49% at post- intervention; 62% at follow-up). Those with concerns identified certain activities as not being useful, wanting the group to be longer, and the time of group (after school) being inconvenient. Most adolescents reported that their life had changed because of the group (72% at post-intervention; 61% at follow-up), and when asked how, common responses included feeling less isolated and more hopeful. CONCLUSIONS: Adolescents found the MBSGs to be helpful and acceptable as a treatment option for depression in primary care. Given the strong emphasis on treatment preference autonomy and the social activities within the group, MBSGs appear well-suited for this age group. TRIAL REGISTRATION: NCT03363750 ; December 6th, 2017.

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