Parent and Youth Preferences in the Treatment of Youth Depression

Abstract

Patient-centered care requires providing care that is responsive to patient preferences, needs, and values, yet data on parent and youth treatment preferences remains sparse. The present study (1) identifies variations in parent and youth preferences for depression treatment, and (2) explores relationships between parent and youth demographics and psychosocial functioning, and the preferences that parents and youth endorse. Participants were 64 youth and 63 parents awaiting randomization in a clinical trial evaluating psychosocial youth depression treatments. Parents preferred treatments that emphasize learning skills and strategies (82.5%) and include the parent in treatment at least some of the time (96.8%). Youth preferred that the therapist meet mostly with the youth alone (67.2%) but share at least some information with parents (78.1%). Youth (43.8%) tended to respond “don’t know” to questions about their preferred therapeutic approach. Understanding parent and youth preferences, especially psychosocial treatment preferences, is needed to provide high-quality, patient-centered care.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    The term “parent” is used instead of a more general term (e.g., “caregiver”) because the vast majority of adult participants were parents.

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Funding

This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH101238, principal investigator David A. Langer; MH082861, principal investigator Martha C. Tompson; MH082856, principal investigator Joan R. Asarnow).

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Correspondence to David A. Langer.

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Appendices

Appendix 1

Treatment Preference Measure – Parent.

This set of questions involves your views about treatment for depression. Please circle the answer that best describes your preferences in the following examples
1 If your child were depressed, would you prefer: a) To have your child see a therapist
b) To have your child take medication
c) To have your child see a therapist and take medication
d) I don’t know
e) Other: ____________
2 If your child went for therapy, would you prefer that the therapist focus on: a) Providing understanding and support
b) Teaching skills and strategies
c) I don’t know
3 If your child went for therapy, would you rather the therapist see: a) Your child only
b) Your child together with you
c) Your child, sometimes including you
d) You only
e) I don’t know
4 Children have different feelings about how much their parents should know about what’s going on in their therapy. Would you prefer that the therapist: a) Never speak to you
b) Speak to you, but only with your child in the room
c) Speak to you alone, but only if there’s a big problem
d) Speak to you alone to let you know what’s going on in therapy
e) I don’t know

Appendix 2

Treatment Preference Measure – Youth.

This set of questions involves your views about treatment for depression. Please circle the answer that best describes your preferences in the following examples
1 If you were sad and depressed, would you prefer: a) To see a therapist
b) To take medication
c) To see a therapist and take medication
d) I don’t know
e) Other: ____________
2 If you went for therapy, would you prefer that the therapist focus on: a) Providing understanding and support
b) Teaching skills and strategies
c) I don’t know
3 If you went for therapy, would you rather the therapist see: a) You by yourself
b) You with your mom or dad
c) You, but sometimes include your mom or dad
d) Your parents only
e) I don’t know
4 Kids have different feelings about how much their parents should know about what’s going on in their therapy. Would you prefer that the therapist: a) Never speak to your parents
b) Speak to your parents, but only with you in the room
c) Speak to your parents alone, but only if there’s a big problem
d) Speak to your parents alone to let them know what’s going on in therapy
e) I don’t know

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Langer, D.A., Kritikos, T.K., Asarnow, J.R. et al. Parent and Youth Preferences in the Treatment of Youth Depression. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev 52, 236–247 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10578-020-01006-4

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Keywords

  • Child
  • Parent
  • Depression
  • Preference
  • Treatment