Deakin University
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The Therapist-assisted Online Parenting Strategies (TOPS) program for parents of adolescents with clinical anxiety or depression: Development and feasibility pilot

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journal contribution
posted on 2019-12-01, 00:00 authored by C M F Fulgoni, Glenn MelvinGlenn Melvin, A F Jorm, K A Lawrence, M B H Yap
© 2019 The Authors Objective: To develop a Therapist-assisted Online Parenting Strategies (TOPS) program that is acceptable to parents whose adolescents have anxiety and/or depressive disorders, using a consumer consultation approach. Methods: The TOPS intervention was developed via three linked studies. Study 1 involved content analysis of feedback from participants (N = 56) who received a web-based preventive parenting intervention called Partners in Parenting (PiP), as part of a randomised controlled trial. Study 2 involved stakeholder consultations with: (i) parents of adolescents aged 12–17 years (N = 6), and (ii) mental health professionals (N = 28), to identify adaptations to PiP that are required to make it appropriate for parents of adolescents with anxiety and depressive disorders. Study 3 was a pilot of the resulting TOPS program with professionals (N = 10) and a small sample of parents (N = 3) to assess the acceptability of the program content and format that involved online modules and videoconferencing coaching. Results: Study 1 indicated a need for an enhanced program for parents whose adolescents are experiencing anxiety and depressive disorders, while findings from Study 2 informed the content of the new TOPS program. In Study 3, mental health professionals endorsed the structure and content, while parents affirmed the acceptability of the TOPS program. Feedback from Studies 2 and 3 indicated that the therapist-coach was a valuable resource to (i) provide parents with strategies that are associated with the alleviation of adolescent anxiety and depression, (ii) discuss difficulties in implementing these strategies, (iii) assist parents with overcoming these difficulties; and (iv) support the development of a relapse prevention plan. Professionals felt that the TOPS program would broaden parental knowledge about how to recognise and respond to symptoms of clinical anxiety and depression in their adolescent. Conclusions: This study provided preliminary support for the feasibility, acceptability and perceived usefulness of the TOPS program.



Internet Interventions



Article number



1 - 12




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal