Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Trials and BioMed Central.

Open Access Study protocol

The Y-Worri Project: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

Alison L Calear1*, Helen Christensen2, Kathleen M Griffiths1 and Andrew Mackinnon3

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Mental Health Research, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

2 Black Dog Institute, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

3 Orygen Research Centre, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

For all author emails, please log on.

Trials 2013, 14:76  doi:10.1186/1745-6215-14-76

Published: 19 March 2013

Abstract

Background

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common psychological problems in adolescents. The school system has been identified as an ideal setting for the implementation of prevention and early intervention programs for anxiety; however, few programs are routinely delivered in schools and little is known about the best delivery methods. The aim of the current project is two-fold: to test the effectiveness of an intervention program for anxiety relative to a control condition, and to compare two methods of implementing the program.

Methods/design

This study is a three-arm cluster randomised controlled trial consisting of a wait-list control condition and two intervention conditions evaluating the effectiveness of an Internet-based program for preventing generalised anxiety. The first intervention condition will involve classroom teachers supervising student completion of the intervention program, while the second intervention condition will involve the classroom teacher and an education officer from the local youth mental health centre supervising the program’s completion. At least 30 schools from across Australia will be recruited to the trial, with adolescents aged between 14 and 18 years invited to participate. Participants in the intervention conditions will complete the e-couch Anxiety and Worry program during class periods over six weeks. The primary outcome measure will be a scale reflecting the number and severity of generalised anxiety symptoms, while secondary outcomes will be symptoms of depression, social anxiety and anxiety sensitivity. Data will be collected at pre-intervention, post-intervention, 6- and 12-month follow-up. Intention-to-treat analyses will be conducted.

Discussion

If demonstrated effective, a new service delivery model for the implementation of mental health programs in schools could be indicated. Such a model would significantly contribute to the mental health of young people in Australia by providing preventive interventions for mental health problems and consequently reducing the need for clinical services.

Trial registration

The Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12610001103055

Keywords:
Adolescent; Anxiety; Prevention; School; Online