Feasibility and Acceptability Trial of a Short Term Mentalization Based Treatment for Adolescents With Depression


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A feasibility pilot trial that aims to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of mentalization-based treatment for adolescents (MBT-A) adapted for early adolescents diagnosed with depression.

Targeted Conditions

Study Overview

Start Date
September 1, 2023
Completion Date
March 1, 2025
Date Posted
February 9, 2024
Accepts Healthy Volunteers?


Full Address
Jean & Marrie Thierry family public health center
Valparaíso, Chile


Minimum Age (years)
Maximum Age (years)
Eligibility Criteria
Inclusion Criteria:

Mild to moderate major depressive disorder (DSM-5-TR and psychiatric interview).
Written informed consent.
Presence of at least one legally responsible adult consenting to participate in the therapeutic process.

Exclusion Criteria:

Diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders
Bipolar affective disorder
Active suicidal ideation
Substance use disorder.

Study Contact Info

Study Contact Name
Javier Moran, PhD; Javiera Duarte, PhD
Study Contact Phone

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Other Details

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Detailed Description
Background. Adolescent depression is a highly prevalent public health concern, entailing substantial developmental impairments, a risk of chronicity, and severe outcomes, including suicide. Recent years have seen an escalation in depressive symptoms among adolescents, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, Chile lacks specific evidence-based clinical guidelines for family interventions in adolescent depression. Nonetheless, the executive summary of the Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Management of Adolescent Depression recognizes the need for such interventions. The 2022-2025 agenda for children and adolescents incorporates these interventions as part of the recommendations, addressing challenges identified by the System of Guarantees for the Comprehensive Protection of the Rights of Children and Adolescents and aligning with the International Convention on the Rights of Children and Adolescents' standards. The strategy proposed herein-a brief, mentalization-based treatment intervention for adolescents-aligns with two pivotal considerations for adolescent mental health care: accommodating the neurodevelopmental changes and vulnerabilities of this demographic, and leveraging the preventative potential of family interventions at a systemic level.

Aims. The study is a feasibility pilot trial that aims to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of a short term mentalization based treatment for adolescents (MBT-A). 15 families of adolescents with a diagnosis of mild and moderate unipolar depression between 10 and 14 years old who consult at a primary health care center in Valparaíso will be recruited.

Methods. The design is based on the principles of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials - Extension to Randomized Pilot and Feasibility Trials (CONSORT). Acceptability and feasibility outcomes will be assessed by means of questionnaires and interviews with both consultants and interveners, considering the training, clinical supervision, and intervention processes. Feasibility (recruitment, data attrition, and follow-up rates) and acceptability (adherence rate and CEQ) of the intervention, along with depressive (PHQ-9/RCADS-30), anxious (DASS-21), externalizing/internalizing (SDQ-SF) symptomatology, and Family Cohesion (FACES III) as secondary outcomes, will be considered. Therapeutic alliance (VTAS-SF), adherence to the therapeutic model (MBT-ACS), quality of patients' mentalization (OMP-A), and psychological well-being (CORE-OM/YP-CORE) will be assessed as well. The results of the analysis of interviews, as well as the calculation of the effect size of the intervention for the various outcomes, are considered as parameters and guidelines for a future RCT.
NCTid (if applicable)