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Table 3 Study Characteristics and Findings—Secondary Analyses Testing PS as a Predictor, Moderator, or Mediator of Treatment Response

From: Problem-solving training as an active ingredient of treatment for youth depression: a scoping review and exploratory meta-analysis

Study Country N Participant age range (mean) in years Diagnostic Status Recruitment Setting Overarching intervention(s) Effect type Operationalization of problem solving Outcome Effect
Becker-Weidman et al. [70] USA 439 a 12–17 (14.6) MDD Clinical 1. Fluox
2. CBT
3. Fluox + CBT
4. Placebo
Pred / Mod Baseline PPO, NPO, AS, ICS, RPS, Depression severity
NPO, PPO, AS = Pred**
Kennard et al. [71] USA 166 b 12–18 (16.0) MDD (TR) Clinical Switch to:
1. Diff SSRI
2. Diff. SSRI + CBT
3. Ven
4. Ven + CBT
Pred Receipt of PS training as part of CBT vs. no receipt Treatment response (CDRS-R & CGI-I) PS training receipt = Pred*
Kaufman et al. [72] USA 93 a 13–17 (15.1) MDD & CD Community 1. CWD-A
2. LST
Med Δ self-reported PS in specific situations Depression severity
No significant effect
Dietz et al. [73] USA 63 a 13–18 (15.6) MDD Clinical 1. CBT
3. NST
Med Δ observed interpersonal PS interactions between youth and mothers MDD remission
Δ in PS interactions associated with outcome in CBT** and SFBT* but test for formal mediation not significant
  1. Note. Δ: Change in; AS: Avoidance Style; BDI: Beck Depression Inventory [74]; CD: Conduct disorder; CDRS-R: Children’s Depression Rating Scale—Revised [75]; CGI-I: Clinical Global Impression Scale—Improvement [76]; CWD-A: Adolescent Coping with Depression Course; Diff: different; Fluox: Fluoxetine; ICS: Impulsivity/Carelessness Style; K-SADS: The Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia [77]; LST: Lifeskills training; MDD: Major Depressive Disorder; Med: Mediator; Mod: Moderator; NPO: Negative Problem Orientation; NST: Nondirective supportive therapy; PPO: Positive Problem Orientation; Pred: Predictor; RPS: Rational Problem Solving Style; SBFT: Systemic Behaviour Family Therapy; SPSI-R: Social Problem-Solving Inventory Revised [78]; SSRI: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors; TR: Treatment-resistant; Ven: Venlafaxine
  2. * p < .05; ** p < .01; *** p < .001
  3. a The total sample size reported is the number of participants randomized to intervention and control conditions
  4. b The total sample size reported here is the number of participants randomized to an SSRI + CBT intervention arm