Psychological interventions for depression in children and young people with an intellectual disability and/or autism: systematic review.

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Children and young people with intellectual disability and/or Autism Spectrum Disorder (autism) experience higher rates of mental health problems, including depression, than their typically developing peers. Although international guidelines suggest psychological therapies as first-line intervention for children and young people, there is limited evidence for psychological therapy for depression in children and young people with intellectual disability and/or autism.To evaluate the current evidence base for psychological interventions for depression in children and young people with intellectual disability and/or autism, and examine the experiences of children and young people with intellectual disability and/or autism, their families and therapists, in receiving and delivering psychological treatment for depression.Databases were searched up to 30 April 2020 using pre-defined search terms and criteria. Articles were independently screened and assessed for risk of bias. Data were synthesised and reported in a narrative review format.A total of 10 studies met the inclusion criteria. Four identified studies were clinical case reports and six were quasi-experimental or experimental studies. All studies were assessed as being of moderate or high risk of bias. Participants with intellectual disability were included in four studies. There was limited data on the experiences of young people, their families or therapists in receiving or delivering psychological treatment for depression.Well-designed, randomised controlled trials are critical to develop an evidence base for psychological treatment for young people with intellectual disability and/or autism with depression. Future research should evaluate the treatment experiences of young people, their families and therapists.


View the full article @ The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science


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