Information for volunteers and their families
What will happen if I get involved?
You and your parents will meet with two research workers 6 times over the course of the study (approximately 18 months). We see you before treatment starts, and then 6, 12, 36, 52 and 86 weeks after your first therapy session. Every time we see you, we will ask you some questions about how you've been feeling and what you've been up to. We'll also give you some questionnaires to fill in. The good news is every time you see us, we'll give you £10 to say thank you! (Parents, you just get our gratitude I'm afraid!)
For more information, please click on the links below:
Why is IMPACT needed?
All of the treatments that you could receive have been shown to be effective and they are all widely used within the NHS, but at the moment we don't know which one works the best. If we can work this out, then we'll be much better able to help people who have problems with their mood in the future. It's particularly important for us to compare the long-term benefits of each treatment. That's why we'll continue to see you for 18 months, even if you finish your treatment before then.
What is a 'randomised' study?
'Randomised' means that you have an equal chance of receiving any of the three treatments. Your treatment will be chosen by a computer, using a system similar to rolling dice. This means that nobody gets to choose your treatment. However, if you're not feeling any better after the first 4-6 weeks, or if you feel worse at any time, then there will be options to change the treatment you're having. If you're not getting on with the treatment you are given, alternatives will be offered.
What treatments might I have?
All three of the offered treatments are talking therapies, so you will be able to talk to someone at your clinic about your problems. Medication may be offered alongside any of the talking therapies; your therapist would discuss this option with you if they think it might help. The therapies you might be given are:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): This treatment involves you coming to the clinic once a week, every week for 12 weeks and then every 2 weeks for about 4 months after that. Each session will last for around 45 minutes and will involve keeping a diary and completing some work at home. In the sessions, your therapist will help you to recognise and manage your emotions, thoughts and behaviours.
- Short Term Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (STPP): This treatment involves you coming to the clinic once a week, every week for 28 weeks. Each session will last for around 50 minutes. The therapist will get to know you and your likes and dislikes, to see how these might contribute to troubling feelings. You will be helped to understand how these feelings interfere with your daily life and mood, as well as your relationships with family, friends and teachers. Your parents/carers may be invited to some separate appointments with a different therapist to support them as they help you.
- Specialist Clinical Care (SCC): This treatment involves you coming to the clinic for 12 sessions over 30 weeks. Each session will last for around 45 minutes. During these sessions you will be able to discuss your problems and your therapist will help you to understand what depression is and how it affects you. Based around this, your therapist will give you practical advice about how to deal with these difficulties.
Will I be invited to do anything else?
There are a couple of smaller substudies within IMPACT. Here is some basic information about these studies; more detailed information will be given if we invite you to take part.
- MR-IMPACT: 120 IMPACT volunteers will be invited to take part in this study, which uses magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) - a way of taking pictures of the brain - to see if we can better understand why some young people become depressed, how psychotherapy works and try to predict if someone might benefit from psychotherapy. The recommended treatment for depression in young people is some form of psychotherapy, but there is no way at the moment of knowing which people are most likely to benefit. The brain can have all sorts of problems with how it works, and we don't yet know which of these might cause depression. MR-IMPACT is trying to find out what happens physically to cause depression, and what changes when people recover. As all the MRI scans take place in Cambridge, volunteers in the North West will not be able to take part in MR-IMPACT.
- IMPACT-ME: All London-based IMPACT volunteers and their families will be invited to take part in the "IMPACT-My Experience" study. This study will investigate your experiences of depression as well as your views of the treatment you received as part of the IMPACT study, and how you understand what has (or has not) been helpful. In other words, it is a study where we want to hear about your experiences, in your own words. This will improve our understanding of how young people and their families make sense of depression and the process of overcoming depression. We are trying to identify the factors that really promote recovery from depression, and understand why some young people drop out of treatment or may not feel that therapy has been helpful. This way we will be able to improve the services that are delivered to young people with depression.