Condition category
Mental and Behavioural Disorders
Date applied
Date assigned
Last edited
Retrospectively registered
Overall trial status
Recruitment status
No longer recruiting
Publication status

Plain English Summary

Background and study aims
Each year around 2% of young people are affected by low mood or depression. Some worry about giving teenagers drug treatments in these situations as they question whether or not they work and they worry about their possible side effects. This study aims to find out whether a treatment called 'cognitive behaviour therapy' helps young people with a low mood when it is delivered on a computer (and not by a person).

Who can participate?
Both male and female adolescents aged between 12 and 18 and suffering from low mood/ depression will be asked if they would like to take part.

What does the study involve?
Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two groups. In one group participants will be asked to complete a computer package, 'Stressbusters', in the other they will be asked to look at websites about low mood. Both groups will involve eight 45 minute sessions on a computer. Both before and after the computer sessions, participants will be asked to complete questionnaires about how they are feeling. Some will also be invited to take part in an interview.

What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
It is hoped that by taking part in the trial adolescents with low mood or depression will notice an improvement in their symptoms. In addition all adolescents will receive a £10 gift voucher at 4 months following the trial to thank them for taking part.

Where is the study run from?
The study is being run at Lime Trees Child, Adolescent and Family Unit in York and within a local school. It is hoped that this will expand to more schools and GP practices as the trial continues.

When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
The study officially started in June 2011 and will last 3 years. We will be recruiting for 2 years, up until the end of July 2013.

Who is funding the study?
The research has been organised by Lime Trees Child, Adolescent and Family Unit at York which is part of the NHS. It has been funded by a special research grant.

Who is the main contact?
Lucy Tindall

Trial website

Contact information



Primary contact

Miss Lucy Tindall


Contact details

NHS North Yorkshire and York
31 Shipton Road
YO30 5RE
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1904 721 219

Additional identifiers

EudraCT number number

Protocol/serial number


Study information

Scientific title

A feasibility study and pilot trial of computerised cognitive behaviour therapy for depression in adolescents


Study hypothesis

This study is a pilot and feasibility trial to establish the acceptability of cCBT treatment for adolescent depression.

Ethics approval

Leeds (West) Research Ethics committee, 08/02/2011, ref: 10/H1307/137

Study design

Randomised; Interventional; Design type: Treatment

Primary study design


Secondary study design

Randomised controlled trial

Trial setting


Trial type


Patient information sheet

Not available in web format, please use the contact details to request a patient information sheet




Stressbusters, computerised CBT programme aimed at adolescents with low mood/depression. The intervention comprises 8, 45 minute weekly sessions; Follow Up Length: 0 month(s); Study Entry : Single Randomisation only

Young people between the ages of 12 and 18 with low mood (as determined by a score of 20 or above on the MFQ) will be randomised to either a cCBT programme 'Stressbusters' or an attention control - spending the equivalent time viewing current internet self help websites. At baseline all consenting participants will be asked to complete the Spence Anxiety Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory, a Risk Factor Schedule and a life story epidemiology proforma. At both four and twelve months follow up each participant will complete the Spence, Beck and MFQ again. Qualitative information about recruitment, acceptability and satisfaction with the cCBT programme will also be collected through interviews with participants.

Given the affinity young people have with information technology this trial questions whether young people could be treated effectively and more widely using computer administered CBT. Thus this study will produce important research evidence which will inform the care of young people in the UK NHS.

Intervention type



Not Applicable

Drug names

Primary outcome measure

Mood and Feelings Questionnaire; Timepoint(s): 4 months & 12 months follow up

Secondary outcome measures

1. The Beck Depression Inventory; Timepoint(s): 4 months & 12 months follow up
2. The Spence Anxiety Scale; Timepoint(s): 4 months & 12 months follow up

Overall trial start date


Overall trial end date


Reason abandoned (if study stopped)


Participant inclusion criteria

1. Children and young people aged 12-18 years with low mood as measured by a MFQ score of 20 or above.
2. We will also include participants with either co-morbid physical illness or co-morbid non-psychotic functional disorders, such as anxiety
3. Target Gender: Male & Female

Participant type


Age group




Target number of participants

Planned Sample Size: 96; UK Sample Size: 96

Participant exclusion criteria

1. We will exclude participants who are seeking to end their life
2. Suffering psychotic symptoms or depressed in the post-natal period
3. Cases of psychotic depression
4. Participants with previous depression or previous treatment with anti-depressants or experience of cognitive therapy will not be excluded.

Recruitment start date


Recruitment end date



Countries of recruitment

United Kingdom

Trial participating centre

NHS North Yorkshire and York
YO30 5RE
United Kingdom

Sponsor information


York Hospital NHS Trust (UK)

Sponsor details

Learning and Research Centre
Wigginton Road
YO31 8HE
United Kingdom
+44 (0)1904 631 313

Sponsor type

Hospital/treatment centre



Funder type


Funder name

NIHR - Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB), ref: PB-PG-0609-19295

Alternative name(s)

Funding Body Type

Funding Body Subtype


Results and Publications

Publication and dissemination plan

Not provided at time of registration

Intention to publish date

Participant level data

Not provided at time of registration

Basic results (scientific)

Publication list

2014 protocol in:
2017 results in:

Publication citations

  1. Protocol

    Wright B, Tindall L, Littlewood E, Adamson J, Allgar V, Bennett S, Gilbody S, Verduyn C, Alderson-Day B, Dyson L, Trépel D, Ali S, Computerised cognitive behaviour therapy for depression in adolescents: study protocol for a feasibility randomised controlled trial., BMJ Open, 2014, 4, 10, e006488, doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-006488.

Additional files

Editorial Notes

01/02/2017: Publication reference added.