Adherence to the MoodGYM program: outcomes and predictors for an adolescent school-based population

J Affect Disord. 2013 May;147(1-3):338-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2012.11.036. Epub 2012 Dec 11.


Background: Program adherence has been associated with improved intervention outcomes for mental and physical conditions. The aim of the current study is to investigate adolescent adherence to an Internet-based depression prevention program in schools to identify the effect of adherence on outcomes and to ascertain the predictors of program adherence.

Methods: Data for the current study (N=1477) was drawn from the YouthMood Project, which was conducted to test the effectiveness of the MoodGYM program in reducing and preventing symptoms of anxiety and depression in an adolescent school-based population. The current study compares intervention effects across three sub-groups: high adherers, low adherers and the wait-list control condition.

Results: When compared to the control condition, participants in the high adherence intervention group reported stronger intervention effects at post-intervention and 6-month follow-up than participants in the low adherence group for anxiety (d=0.34-0.39 vs. 0.11-0.22), and male (d=0.43-0.59 vs. 0.26-0.35) and female depression (d=0.13-0.20 vs. 0.02-0.04). No significant intervention effects were identified between the high and low adherence groups. Being in Year 9, living in a rural location and having higher pre-intervention levels of depressive symptoms or self-esteem were predictive of greater adherence to the MoodGYM program.

Limitations: The program trialled is Internet-based and therefore the predictors of adherence identified may not generalise to face-to-face interventions.

Conclusions: The current study provides preliminary support for the positive relationship between program adherence and outcomes in a school environment. The identification of significant predictors of adherence will assist in identifying the type of user who will engage most with an online depression prevention program.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anxiety / prevention & control*
  • Anxiety / therapy
  • Australia
  • Child
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Depression / therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Male
  • Patient Compliance*
  • School Health Services*