Randomized clinical trial of a brief, scalable intervention for mental health sequelae in college students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 365 words

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Keywords COVID-19; Dialectical behavior therapy; College students; Dissemination; Brief interventions Highlights * 14 brief DBT skills videos were created for college students during COVID-19 pandemic. * A diverse sample found the videos acceptable and relevant. * Intervention was related to prevention of worsening over the course of the semester. * These videos are easily disseminated to various populations and settings. Abstract This randomized clinical trial aimed to determine feasibility, acceptability, and initial efficacy of brief Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills videos in reducing psychological distress among college students during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over six weeks, 153 undergraduates at a large, public American university completed pre-assessment, intervention, and post-assessment periods. During the intervention, participants were randomized to receive animated DBT skills videos for 14 successive days (n = 99) or continue assessment (n = 54). All participants received 4x daily ecological momentary assessments on affect, self-efficacy of managing emotions, and unbearableness of emotions. The study was feasible and the intervention was acceptable, as demonstrated by moderate to high compliance rates and video ratings. There were significant pre-post video reductions in negative affect and increases in positive affect. There was a significant time x condition interaction on unbearableness of emotions; control participants rated their emotions as more unbearable in the last four vs. first two weeks, whereas the intervention participants did not rate their emotions as any more unbearable. Main effects of condition on negative affect and self-efficacy were not significant. DBT skills videos may help college students avoid worsening mental health. This brief, highly scalable intervention could extend the reach of mental health treatment. Author Affiliation: (a) Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University, United States (b) Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program & Psychiatric Services (CAPS), Rutgers University, United States (c) Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, United States * Corresponding author. 152 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ, 08854. Article History: Received 4 June 2021; Revised 15 November 2021; Accepted 14 December 2021 Byline: Shireen L. Rizvi [slrizvi@gsapp.rutgers.edu] (a,*), Jesse Finkelstein (a), Annmarie Wacha-Montes (b), April L. Yeager (a), Allison K. Ruork (a), Qingqing Yin (c), John Kellerman (c), Joanne S. Kim (c), Molly Stern (a), Linda A. Oshin (a), Evan M. Kleiman (c)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A690387993