“Therapy without a therapist?” The experiences of adolescents and their parents of online behavioural activation for depression with and without therapist support

Rebecca Grudin, Sarah Vigerland, Johan Ahlen, Hanna Widström, Irma Unger, Eva Serlachius, Hedvig Engberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Behavioural Activation (BA) is an established treatment for adults with depression, and research on BA for adolescents is promising. However, there is a knowledge gap in terms of the experiences of adolescents and their parents BA for depression delivered online. Furthermore, there have been no previous studies conducted on the experiences of respondents with regard to the role of the therapist in online treatment. Therefore, the primary aim of this study is to explore the experiences of online BA among adolescents with depression and how their parents experience supporting their adolescent through treatment. Second, the experiences of having online therapy with or without a therapist were explored. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight adolescents and nine parents (n = 17) who completed guided or self-guided online BA. Reflexive thematic analysis was used to identify aspects of the experience of treatment that were important to adolescents and their parents. Two main themes were generated: (1) opportunities or barriers to engaging in treatment and (2) parental involvement is valued and welcomed. This study contributes valuable information regarding user experiences of BA treatment, the importance of therapist support and parental involvement in treating adolescents with depression. Trial registration number:ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT04117789, Date of registration: 07 October 2019.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2023

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Applied Psychology

Free keywords

  • Adolescents
  • Behavioural activation
  • Depression
  • Online
  • Qualitative
  • Therapist support

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