Randomized Controlled Trial of Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program for Adolescent Offenders with Depression

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Saranya Wannachaiyakul
Darawan Thapinta
Hunsa Sethabouppha
Petsunee Thungjaroenkul
Surinporn Likhitsathian


                  Depression affects the lives of young offenders and requires treatment. However, too few therapists, high service costs, and stigma are barriers preventing them from accessing mental health services in many countries. Although, computer-assisted psychotherapy has been proven a revolutionary intervention for reducing depression and enhancing accessibility, it has not been used for depressed youths with delinquency problems both in Thailand and abroad.  This randomized control trial investigated the effectiveness of the Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy program for reducing depression among youths with delinquency problems. The youths in a juvenile vocational training center in northern Thailand who met the inclusion criteria were randomly assigned into an experimental group receiving the program in addition to usual activities, while the control group received only the usual activities (n=42 per group). Depression was measured using the Thai Patient Health Questionnaire before the program started, then 1 and 2 months after the intervention. Repeated measure ANOVA, and independent t-test were used to test the program efficacy. Results revealed that participants in the experimental group after entering the program, and 1 and 2 months after the intervention had significantly lower mean scores of depression than before receiving the program. Additionally, they had a significantly lower mean score of depression than that of the control group immediately after completing the program. The findings indicated that the CCBT program can reduce depression among youths with delinquency problems. Nurses should integrate this program as a depression intervention for youths in this group. However, further study is needed for examining the sustainability of the long term impacts of the program in reducing depression.

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Wannachaiyakul S, Thapinta D, Sethabouppha H, Thungjaroenkul P, Likhitsathian S. Randomized Controlled Trial of Computerized Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program for Adolescent Offenders with Depression. PRIJNR [Internet]. 2017 Feb. 28 [cited 2023 Feb. 4];21(1):32-43. Available from: https://he02.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/PRIJNR/article/view/62508
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