Outcomes of a Brief Cognitive Skills-Based Intervention (COPE) for Adolescents in the Primary Care Setting.

Erlich, Kimberly J. et al. 
Journal of Pediatric Health Care , Volume 0 , Issue 0 , Articles in Press.

Approximately 25% of adolescents have behavioral disorders, yet few receive treatment. Primary care (PC) screening for depression and anxiety is recommended; however treatments, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), are rarely available in PC settings. Our aim was to determine whether the use of a CBT-based intervention (COPE for Teens) is associated with improved outcomes on measures of depression and anxiety, and to understand the patient experience.
Health record data were examined, including questionnaires on depression (PHQ-A), anxiety (GAD-7), and experience with COPE. Differences between pre- and post-intervention scores were evaluated by paired t-tests. Questionnaire data were analyzed via thematic coding.
Thirty-seven patients (73% female; ages 12-18) completed pre- and post-intervention measures. Comparison showed decrease in PHQ-A scores by 2.1 (p = 0.0067) and GAD-7 scores by 2.3 (p= 0.0081). Questionnaire data demonstrate satisfaction with COPE.
Among these 37 adolescents, COPE provided effective PC-based behavioral treatment and a positive experience. Increased availability of COPE could improve care for adolescents.