Outcomes and Feasibility of a Manualized Cognitive-Behavioral Skills Building Intervention: Group COPE for Depressed and Anxious Adolescents in School Settings

Authors

  • Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk PhD, RN, CPNP/PMHNP, FNAP, FAAN,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Ohio State University College of Nursing, Columbus, OH, USA
    2. The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA
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    • Associate Vice President for Health Promotion, University Chief Wellness Officer, Dean and Professor, College of Nursing, Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University
  • Stephanie Kelly PhD, RN, FNP-C,

    Research Assistant Professor
    1. The Ohio State University College of Nursing, Columbus, OH, USA
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  • Pamela Lusk DNP, RN, PMHNP-BC

    Clinical Associate Professor
    1. The Ohio State University College of Nursing, Columbus, OH, USA
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Abstract

Problem

Despite the increasing prevalence of depressive and anxiety disorders in adolescents, less than 25% of affected teens receive any treatment.

Methods

A preexperimental one-group pre- and posttest pilot study design with 4-week follow-up was used to assess the feasibility and preliminary effects of the COPE (Creating Opportunities for Personal Empowerment) brief-focused manualized seven-session cognitive-behavioral skills building group intervention delivered in two high schools to 16 adolescents referred by a school-based nurse practitioner for depression or elevated anxiety symptoms.

Findings

Adolescents reported significant decreases in depression and anxiety on the Beck Youth Inventory as well as increases in personal beliefs about managing negative emotions. Evaluations indicated that the group COPE intervention was a positive experience for the teens.

Conclusions

COPE is a promising brief-focused cognitive behavioral therapy-based intervention that can be delivered effectively to teens in school settings using a group format.

Ancillary