A Meta-analysis of Universal Mental Health Prevention Programs for Higher Education Students

A Meta-analysis of Universal Mental Health Prevention Programs for Higher Education Students This meta-analysis investigated the effectiveness of universal mental health prevention programs for higher education students on a range of adjustment outcomes. A systematic literature search identified 103 controlled published and unpublished interventions involving college, graduate, or professional students. As hypothesized, skill-training programs that included a supervised practice component were significantly more effective overall (mean effect size = 0.45, confidence interval (CI) = 0.39 to 0.52) compared to skill-training programs without supervised practice (0.11, CI = −0.01 to 0.22) and psychoeducational (information-only) programs (0.13, CI = 0.06 to 0.21). When comparisons on specific outcomes were possible, skill-training programs including supervised practice were significantly more effective than the other two groups of programs in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and general psychological distress, and in improving social-emotional skills, self-perceptions, and academic behaviors and performance. The magnitude of effects achieved in several outcome areas is comparable to or higher than that reported in other reviews of universal programs, suggesting that skill-training programs for higher education students that incorporate supervised practice now join the ranks of other effective preventive mental health interventions. This review offers several recommendations to improve the experimental rigor of future research. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Prevention Science Springer Journals

A Meta-analysis of Universal Mental Health Prevention Programs for Higher Education Students

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 by Society for Prevention Research
Subject
Medicine & Public Health; Public Health; Health Psychology; Child and School Psychology
ISSN
1389-4986
eISSN
1573-6695
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11121-015-0543-1
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This meta-analysis investigated the effectiveness of universal mental health prevention programs for higher education students on a range of adjustment outcomes. A systematic literature search identified 103 controlled published and unpublished interventions involving college, graduate, or professional students. As hypothesized, skill-training programs that included a supervised practice component were significantly more effective overall (mean effect size = 0.45, confidence interval (CI) = 0.39 to 0.52) compared to skill-training programs without supervised practice (0.11, CI = −0.01 to 0.22) and psychoeducational (information-only) programs (0.13, CI = 0.06 to 0.21). When comparisons on specific outcomes were possible, skill-training programs including supervised practice were significantly more effective than the other two groups of programs in reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and general psychological distress, and in improving social-emotional skills, self-perceptions, and academic behaviors and performance. The magnitude of effects achieved in several outcome areas is comparable to or higher than that reported in other reviews of universal programs, suggesting that skill-training programs for higher education students that incorporate supervised practice now join the ranks of other effective preventive mental health interventions. This review offers several recommendations to improve the experimental rigor of future research.

Journal

Prevention ScienceSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 7, 2015

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