Development of a transdiagnostic, low-intensity, psychological intervention for common adolescent mental health problems in Indian secondary schools.


Sangath, Goa and New Delhi, India; Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA; Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, Boston, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : The PRIDE programme aims to establish a suite of transdiagnostic psychological interventions organised around a stepped care system in Indian secondary schools. This paper describes the development of a low-intensity, first-line component of the PRIDE model.
METHODS : Contextual and global evidence informed an intervention 'blueprint' with problem solving as the primary practice element. Successive iterations were tested and modified across two pilot cohort studies (N = 45; N = 39). Participants were aged 13-20 years and presenting with elevated mental health symptoms in New Delhi schools.
RESULTS : The first iteration of the intervention, based on a guided self-help modality, showed promising outcomes and user satisfaction when delivered by psychologists. However, delivery was not feasible within the intended 6-week schedule, and participants struggled to use materials outside 'guidance' sessions. In Pilot 2, a modified counsellor-led problem-solving intervention was implemented by less experienced counsellors over a 3-4 week schedule. Outcomes were maintained, with indications of enhanced feasibility and acceptability. High demand was observed across both pilots, leading to more stringent eligibility criteria and a modified sensitisation plan.
CONCLUSIONS : Findings have shaped a first-line intervention for common adolescent mental health problems in low-resource settings. A forthcoming randomised controlled trial will test its effectiveness.


Adolescents,India,Mental health,Psychological intervention,Schools,Transdiagnostic,

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