BACKGROUND: Adolescents with depression need access to culturally relevant psychological treatment. In many low- and middle-income countries treatments are only accessible to a minority. We adapted group interpersonal therapy (IPT) for adolescents to be delivered through schools in Nepal. Here we report IPT's feasibility, acceptability, and cost.

METHODS: We recruited 32 boys and 30 girls (aged 13-19) who screened positive for depression. IPT comprised of two individual and 12 group sessions facilitated by nurses or lay workers. Using a pre-post design we assessed adolescents at baseline, post-treatment (0-2 weeks after IPT), and follow-up (8-10 weeks after IPT). We measured depressive symptoms with the Depression Self-Rating Scale (DSRS), and functional impairment with a local tool. To assess intervention fidelity supervisors rated facilitators' IPT skills across 27/90 sessions using a standardised checklist. We conducted qualitative interviews with 16 adolescents and six facilitators post-intervention, and an activity-based cost analysis from the provider perspective.

RESULTS: Adolescents attended 82.3% (standard deviation 18.9) of group sessions. All were followed up. Depression and functional impairment improved between baseline and follow-up: DSRS score decreased by 81% (95% confidence interval 70-95); functional impairment decreased by 288% (249-351). In total, 95.3% of facilitator IPT skills were rated superior/satisfactory. Adolescents found the intervention useful and acceptable, although some had concerns about privacy in schools. The estimate of intervention unit cost was US $96.9 with facilitators operating at capacity.

CONCLUSIONS: School-based group IPT is feasible and acceptable in Nepal. Findings support progression to a randomised controlled trial to assess effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-428
Number of pages13
JournalGlobal Mental Health
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'School-based group interpersonal therapy for adolescents with depression in rural Nepal: a mixed methods study exploring feasibility, acceptability, and cost'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this