This trial is active, not recruiting.

Conditions depression, anxiety
Treatment tara
Sponsor University of California, San Francisco
Collaborator Edgewood Center for Children and Families
Start date January 2014
End date November 2015
Trial size 30 participants
Trial identifier NCT02480257, 13-12380


The investigators aim to refine and pilot test an innovative group treatment model for adolescent depression and anxiety, Training for Awareness, Resilience and Action (TARA) in a sample of 14-18 year olds with depressive or anxious symptoms.

United States No locations recruiting
Other Countries No locations recruiting

Study Design

Endpoint classification efficacy study
Intervention model single group assignment
Masking open label
Primary purpose treatment
TARA is comprised of 12 weekly classes delivered in a group format by two trained facilitators with approximately 8-15 participants. The 90 minute sessions are designed to promote skills for autonomic regulation, attention modulation, emotion regulation and cognitive control.
The intervention consists of four 3-week modules: 1. Autonomic regulation: Learning and practicing the ability to create a calm and safe inner state through breathing exercises and movement/physical activity. 2. Interoceptive awareness: Attention training, targeting external stimuli then sensory stimuli using short body scan exercises and guided meditations. 3.Emotion regulation: Recognizing, labeling, externalizing, and befriending emotions. 4. Metacognition, core-values, and committed action: Understanding social triggers to negative emotions and experiential avoidance strategies and their impact on obtaining desired life-goals. Home practice of TARA skills is encouraged, with breathing instructions and short, guided meditations provided via audio tracks.

Primary Outcomes

Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale (RADS-2)
time frame: Change from 0 to 3 months
Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC)
time frame: Change from 0 to 3 months

Secondary Outcomes

Children's Depression Rating Scale, Revised (CDRS-R)
time frame: 0, 3, and 6mos
Insomnia Severity Index (ISI)
time frame: 0, 3, and 6 mos
Affective Reactivity Index (ARI)
time frame: 0, 3, and 6 mos
The Avoidance and Fusion Questionnaire for Youth (AFQ-Y8)
time frame: 0, 3, and 6 mos
Child and Adolescent Mindfulness Measure (CAMM)
time frame: 0, 3, and 6 mos
Dot-Probe Attention Task
time frame: 0, 3, and 6 mos

Eligibility Criteria

Male or female participants from 14 years up to 18 years old.

Inclusion Criteria: - 14-18 years old, and not yet graduated from high school. - Post-pubertal (Tanner Stage , stage 3+). - CDRS-R score≥35 or MASC score≥56. - Currently under the care of a physician or mental health provider for depression and/or anxiety. Exclusion Criteria: - Current comorbidity of psychosis, severe anorexia nervosa, PTSD, severe self-mutilation, severe suicidal ideation or attempt in past 3 mos. - Comorbidity (lifetime) of bipolar disorder, low-functioning autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability (estimated intelligence quotient < 80). - A substance abuse, mental health, or medical condition that, in the opinion of investigators, will make it difficult for the potential participant to participate in the group intervention. - Non English speaker. - Current mindfulness training (e.g. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction or Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy or Dialectical Behavior Therapy) and/or practice with a typically sitting meditation or yoga of 20 or more minutes two or more times per week for the past two months. - Unable to attend study assessments and classes in San Francisco as scheduled. - Special exclusion criteria will be applied for fMRI participation for safety reasons (pregnancy, claustrophobia, metallic implants); left-handedness; and for task performance (colorblindness or less than 20/40 correctable vision); not willing to abstain from alcohol and/or drugs for 2 weeks prior to the MRI . These participants can be included in the study but will be excluded from participation in fMRI.

Additional Information

Official title University of California San Francisco (UCSF) TARA Study: Training for Awareness, Resilience and Action
Principal investigator Rick M Hecht, MD
Description The investigators aim to refine and pilot test an innovative group treatment model for adolescent depression and anxiety, Training for Awareness, Resilience and Action (TARA). TARA is based on our current understanding of the neuroscience of adolescent depression and anxiety. It employs specific approaches drawn from mindfulness practices and yoga to promote physiological regulation and attention modulation, emotion regulation, and cognitive control. The investigators will perform three initial (non-randomized) beta tests with 6-12 participants each to refine our intervention manual. The investigators will enroll up to 30 participants total, aged 14-18 with depression and/or anxiety symptoms, to receive the TARA intervention. The investigators hypothesize that TARA will be feasible in terms of recruitment, retention, adherence, and participant receptivity to the intervention as gauged through feedback surveys and a focus group. The primary outcomes are depression symptoms assessed with the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale (RADS-2) and anxiety symptoms assessed with the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC). Secondary outcomes include self-reported emotion regulation and attention/awareness. The investigators hypothesize that participants will show improvements in these measures. In a small subset of participants, the investigators will also test the feasibility of using functional MRI (fMRI) before and after the intervention to measure the underlying neurobiological effects of TARA. The aim is to develop a protocol for possible future use in a larger study to examine effects of the intervention on patterns of amygdala activation linked with adolescent depression.
Trial information was received from ClinicalTrials.gov and was last updated in June 2015.
Information provided to ClinicalTrials.gov by University of California, San Francisco.