A Mindfulness Program Approach to Decrease Adolescent Depression
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Depression is a prevalent issue within the adolescent population. Recent data shows 18.1% of U.S. adolescents aged 12 to 18 years have experienced episodes of depression, with 12.9% reporting episodes of depression in the past 12 months. Despite the increasing prevalence of adolescent depression, the treatment of adolescent depression remains difficult. Barriers to treatment of adolescent depression include stigma, embarrassment, problems recognizing symptoms, and a preference for self-reliance. The purpose of this quasi-experimental, quality improvement project was to implement the mobile-based mindfulness program, Smiling Mind, to decrease adolescent self-reported depression scores. The sample group consisted of six adolescents, four females and two males, ranging from 12 to 18 years of age. The improvement project was implemented within a pediatric primary care clinic in suburban Colorado. The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was used to assess self-reported depression of the adolescents pre and post implementation of the Smiling Mind application. Six adolescents were recruited for the study. One of the six adolescents completed the post-interventional survey. Statistical significance was not found in pre and post PHQ-9 scores; although, the application was identified as a tool for addressing emotional situations. This intervention provided the opportunity for adolescents to gain access to mindfulness-based programs that could decrease self-reported depression scores, ultimately decreasing the prevalence and negative outcomes associated with adolescent depression.
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