Clinical messages from the Treatment for Adolescents With Depression Study (TADS)

Am J Psychiatry. 2009 Oct;166(10):1118-23. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08101606. Epub 2009 Sep 1.


Objective: The purpose of this report was to summarize the key clinical messages from the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS).

Methods: TADS is a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-funded randomized controlled trial designed to evaluate the relative effectiveness of fluoxetine, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and the combination of fluoxetine plus CBT across acute treatment, maintenance treatment, and naturalistic follow-up periods among adolescents with major depressive disorder.

Results: Findings revealed that 6 to 9 months of combined fluoxetine plus CBT should be the modal treatment from a public health perspective as well as to maximize benefits and minimize harms for individual patients.

Conclusion: The combination of fluoxetine and CBT appears to be superior to both CBT monotherapy and fluoxetine monotherapy as a treatment for moderate to severe major depressive disorder in adolescents.

Trial registration: NCT80006286.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / drug effects
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Fluoxetine / adverse effects
  • Fluoxetine / therapeutic use*
  • Harm Reduction
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Multicenter Studies as Topic
  • Placebos
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Research Design
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / adverse effects
  • Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors / therapeutic use*
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide Prevention
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United Kingdom


  • Placebos
  • Serotonin Uptake Inhibitors
  • Fluoxetine

Associated data