Feasibility Evaluation of an Online Growth Mindset Intervention for Young People Experiencing Symptoms of Anxiety and Low Mood

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Abstract

Digital single-session interventions (SSIs) offer a promising avenue to expand the scalability and reach of evidence-based psychological interventions. Previous research found that a 30-minute growth mindset intervention, teaching young people that they can change their personality traits, reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression over a 9-month follow up period. This pilot randomised controlled trial (RCT) assessed the feasibility and acceptability of offering an anonymously accessible, online version of the growth-mindset intervention to young people, aged eight to 16, in the UK. The study sought to investigate recruitment and retention rates, sample characteristics and the acceptability and safety of the intervention. Sixty-eight participants were recruited to the study, primarily through schools and social media. Whilst exceeding the pre-specified recruitment target, retention was poor with a large proportion of participants dropping out prior to randomisation resulting in a sample of n = 28 at baseline. On average, young people scored below the clinical threshold for the presence of emotional distress. A third of parents reported clinically significant symptoms of anxiety and depression. Approximately half of the randomised participants completed the post-intervention questionnaires and responses indicated that young people found the intervention to be acceptable. Overall, the pre-specified decision-making criteria for progressing to a definitive trial were not met due to the failure to meet the target for the retention of participants. This was considered alongside the challenges of recruiting young people with elevated symptoms of depression and anxiety to conclude that modifications to the study procedures would be required before a definitive trial.
Original languageEnglish
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Pote, Helen, Supervisor
Publication statusUnpublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Child
  • Adolescent
  • Mental health
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Intervention

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