Development of a transdiagnostic, low-intensity, psychological intervention for common adolescent mental health problems in Indian secondary schools


Abstract

Background

The PRIDE programme aims to establish a suite of transdiagnostic psychological interventions organised around a stepped care system in Indian secondary schools. This paper describes the development of a low-intensity, first-line component of the PRIDE model.

Method

Contextual and global evidence informed an intervention ‘blueprint’ with problem solving as the primary practice element. Successive iterations were tested and modified across two pilot cohort studies (N = 45; N = 39). Participants were aged 13–20 years and presenting with elevated mental health symptoms in New Delhi schools.

Results

The first iteration of the intervention, based on a guided self-help modality, showed promising outcomes and user satisfaction when delivered by psychologists. However, delivery was not feasible within the intended 6-week schedule, and participants struggled to use materials outside ‘guidance’ sessions. In Pilot 2, a modified counsellor-led problem-solving intervention was implemented by less experienced counsellors over a 3–4 week schedule. Outcomes were maintained, with indications of enhanced feasibility and acceptability. High demand was observed across both pilots, leading to more stringent eligibility criteria and a modified sensitisation plan.

Discussion

Findings have shaped a first-line intervention for common adolescent mental health problems in low-resource settings. A forthcoming randomised controlled trial will test its effectiveness.


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