Why PATHway?

Prevalence of Depression in Teens
1 in 5 young people have at least one mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) disorder, including depression.

Nearly 50% of children with a MEB disorder also experience significant challenges with their social, mental, or emotional development, which is associated with poorer physical health.

Given the high rates of youth depression and the long-term effects associated with depression, efforts to prevent depressive disorders in adolescents will have valuable implications for population health.

Gaps in Knowledge
There are currently no strategies to deliver evidence-based depression prevention approaches to the teen population.

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What is PATHway?

Study Design

PATHway is an implementation trial aimed at determining whether CATCH-IT, a 14-module (adolescent) and 5-module (parent) behavioral health intervention, can demonstrate an equivalent effect when provided in differing module combinations in terms of efficacy, whilst also demonstrating superior adolescent/family tolerability scalability over a 12-month follow-up.

CATCH-IT: Competent Adulthood Transition with Cognitive-behavioral & Interpersonal Training (CATCH-IT) is an internet-based depression prevention program that targets decreasing modifiable risk factors while enhancing protective factors in at-risk adolescents, and that includes a parent program. It has been shown to be safe, feasible, and efficacious.

400 participants eligible for the study will be randomized using a 4-factor (2x2x2x2) fully crossed factorial design with N=16 cells (25 per cell, 15% dropout) to evaluate the contribution of each CATCH-IT module. Participants will be recruited from multiple sites in the United States, also assessing teens’ parents’ and providers’ experiences with each module.

To read the full study protocol, click here, and a summary abstract, click here.


Eligible - Adolescents ages 13-18 years, all genders, English speaking (it is ok if their parent or guardian are non-English speaking), and have elevated symptoms of depression, or depression and anxiety, as indicated by PHQ-9 score. Recruitment sites will be diverse in socio-economic status and racial/ethnic representation.

Ineligible - Adolescents who are currently experiencing psychosis or extreme substance abuse, or read below a fifth grade level. Teens will be screened for participation at the recruitment site and/or can contact the study call center directly.

It was actually fairly simple [to participate]. I talked to [my doctor] about it. I made my account…and I did all the modules. I did try applying the things that were going on within the modules into my own life, because I’ve been going through a really rough time. Going through the modules and trying to use the stuff that is in the modules and applying it to real life actually helped.

Teen Male Participant

I have found as a general pediatrician that the PHQ-9 has been invaluable to me in helping to recognize which of my teen patients need more assistance than I have been able to tell during my routine questions at the physical exam. When the questions are posed in a survey form and have a rating scale it helps both of us get a better picture of how they are feeling. If they do qualify for the study, it gives me something of quality and of no expense that I can offer them.

Pediatric Medicine Provider

Contact Us to Learn More

To learn more about PATHway, email (pathwaystudy@uic.edu), call (844) 428-7878, or click below for a team member to contact you.

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