Effects of Preference on Outcomes of Preventive Interventions among Ethnically Diverse Adolescents At-Risk of Depression

J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. Nov-Dec 2020;49(6):820-836. doi: 10.1080/15374416.2019.1639514. Epub 2019 Aug 13.


Patient-centered care includes efforts to align treatment with patient preferences to improve outcomes and has not been studied in adolescent depression prevention. Within a school-based randomized trial, we examined the effects of offering a preference between two evidence-based preventive interventions for youth at risk of depression, Learning to BREATHE (L2B) and Interpersonal Therapy-Adolescent Skills Training. We examined the effects of 3 preference factors (assignment condition [preference vs. random], receipt of preferred program, and baseline program preference) on outcomes in a diverse sample of 111 adolescents (M age = 15.18 years, SD = .86): 81 (73%) girls, 45 (41%) White, 40 (36%) Asian American, 8 (7%) Latinx, 1 (1%) African American, and 17 (15%) multiracial or other race/ethnicity. Findings revealed little evidence that receiving a preferred intervention or being given a choice of interventions was linked to greater improvement or initial engagement. Further, analyses did not indicate that adolescents with baseline indications for a specific intervention would benefit more from that intervention; rather, adolescents with generally lower baseline functioning improved more regardless of the intervention received. However, receipt of L2B and a baseline preference for L2B were associated with greater improvements in about half of the outcomes examined, with effect sizes ranging from R 2 = 0.04 to 0.14. There was little support for the need to match interventions to adolescent preferences in school-based prevention efforts. Rather, the more scalable mindfulness-based intervention had stronger effects than the interpersonal intervention and may hold promise for diverse adolescents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Depression / prevention & control*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Patient Preference / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient-Centered Care / methods*
  • Risk Factors