The use and feasibility of a CBT intervention
Article first published online: 30 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Child and Adolescent Mental Health © 2010 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Volume 16, Issue 3, pages 129–135, September 2011
How to Cite
Boyle, C., Lynch, L., Lyon, A. and Williams, C. (2011), The use and feasibility of a CBT intervention. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 16: 129–135. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-3588.2010.00586.x
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 30 NOV 2010
- Accepted for publication: 22 March 2010 Published online: 30 November 2010
Background: Mental illness is common and disruptive in adolescents. However, only a small proportion receives treatment. Low intensity preventative interventions may reduce symptoms and increase access to treatment, but few are targeted at young people. A Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) based guided self-help programme has been adapted for use in secondary schools; it covers 7 distinct topics, each with an accompanying booklet and lesson plan. This study investigates its use and feasibility in this context and examines pupil and teacher attitudes.
Method: Approximately 280 second year school pupils received two lessons on a single life-skills area. Attitudes toward each booklet and class were evaluated by questionnaire and results summarised using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were gathered from teacher and pupil focus groups.
Results: 56.3% of pupils agreed the lesson was very interesting and 64.5% felt they learned something new and worthwhile. A minority felt motivated by the lesson (43.1%) or would recommend it to a friend (48.4%). The majority of pupils agreed they had developed life-skills; however these were not specific to the topic covered by their class. Content analysis of the focus groups identified four central themes - Acceptability, Guidance, Target Population and Changes - which largely reflected the quantitative results.
Conclusion: Overall, the lessons and booklets were well received by pupils and teachers: the design and language were popular and it functioned well as a group activity with pupils happy to discuss the majority of issues. The intervention has the potential to be popular, affordable and effective approach to school-based mental health interventions.