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01.12.2018 | Study protocol | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Psychiatry 1/2018

A video-based transdiagnostic REBT universal prevention program for internalizing problems in adolescents: study protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial

BMC Psychiatry > Ausgabe 1/2018
Costina Ruxandra Păsărelu, Anca Dobrean



Internalizing problems are the most prevalent mental health problems in adolescents. Transdiagnostic programs are promising manners to treat multiple problems within the same protocol, however, there is limited research regarding the efficacy of such programs delivered as universal prevention programs in school settings. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the efficacy of a video-based transdiagnostic rational emotive behavioral therapy (REBT) universal prevention program, for internalizing problems. The second objective of the present paper will be to investigate the subsequent mechanisms of change, namely maladaptive cognitions.


A two-arm parallel randomized controlled trial will be conducted, with two groups: a video-based transdiagnostic REBT universal prevention program and a wait list control. Power analysis indicated that the study will involve 338 participants. Adolescents with ages between 12 and 17 years old, from several middle schools and high schools, will be invited to participate. Assessments will be conducted at four time points: baseline (T1), post-intervention (T2), 3 months follow-up (T3) and 12 months follow-up (T4). Intent-to-treat analysis will be used in order to investigate significant differences between the two groups in both primary and secondary outcomes.


This is the first randomized controlled trial that aims to investigate the efficacy and mechanisms of change of a video-based transdiagnostic REBT universal prevention program, delivered in a school context. The present study has important implications for developing efficient prevention programs, interactive, that will aim to target within the same protocol both anxiety and depressive symptoms.

Trial registration NCT02756507. Registered on 25 April 2016.
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