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Depression Research and Treatment
Volume 2012, Article ID 820735, 11 pages
Research Article

Evidence Map of Prevention and Treatment Interventions for Depression in Young People

1Orygen Youth Health Research Centre, Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Locked Bag 10, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
2Headspace Centre of Excellence, The National Youth Mental Health Foundation, P.O. Box 473, North Melbourne, Victoria 3051, Australia

Received 31 August 2011; Revised 22 December 2011; Accepted 30 December 2011

Academic Editor: John R. Seeley

Copyright © 2012 Patrick Callahan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Depression in adolescents and young people is associated with reduced social, occupational, and interpersonal functioning, increases in suicide and self-harm behaviours, and problematic substance use. Age-appropriate, evidence-based treatments are required to provide optimal care. Methods. “Evidence mapping” methodology was used to quantify the nature and distribution of the extant high-quality research into the prevention and treatment of depression in young people across psychological, medical, and other treatment domains. Results. Prevention research is dominated by cognitive-behavioral- (CBT-) based interventions. Treatment studies predominantly consist of CBT and SSRI medication trials, with few trials of other psychological interventions or complementary/alternative treatments. Quality studies on relapse prevention and treatment for persistent depression are distinctly lacking. Conclusions. This map demonstrates opportunities for future research to address the numerous evidence gaps for interventions to prevent or treat depression in young people, which are of interest to clinical researchers, policy makers, and funding bodies.