Therapeutic identification of depression in young people: lessons from the introduction of a new technique in general practice

Steve Iliffe, Ceri Gallant, Tami Kramer, Julia Gledhill, Amanda Bye, Victoria Fernandez, Mar Vila, Lisa Miller, M Elena Garralda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Mild-to-moderate depression in young people is associated with impaired social functioning and high rates of affective disorder in adult life. Earlier recognition of depression in young people has the potential to reduce the burden of depression in adulthood. However, depression in teenagers is underdiagnosed and undertreated.

AIM: To assess the usability and usefulness of a cognitive-behavioural-therapy-based technique for Therapeutic Identification of Depression in Young people (TIDY).

DESIGN AND SETTING: A qualitative study of four group practices in northwest London.

METHOD: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with practitioners who had been trained in the use of the TIDY technique.

RESULTS: Twenty-five GPs and six nurses were interviewed. The key themes that emerged from the interviews were: practitioners were 'making sense of teenage depression' when interpreting signs and symptoms; the training in the technique was variable in its impact on practitioners' attitudes and practice; and time factors constrained practitioners in the application of the technique.

CONCLUSION: The TIDY technique is usable in routine practice, but only if practitioners are allowed to use it selectively. This need for selectivity arises partly from concerns about time management, and partly to avoid medicalisation of psychological distress in young people. The perceived usefulness of the TIDY technique depends on the practitioner's prior knowledge, experience, and awareness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e174-82
JournalThe British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners
Issue number596
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Cues
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • General Practice
  • Humans
  • London
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Professional Practice
  • Professional-Patient Relations


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