Mood and suicidality outcomes 3–11 years following pediatric anxiety disorder treatment

Courtney P. Keeton, Nicole E. Caporino, Philip C. Kendall, Satish Iyengar, Phyllis Lee, Tara Peris, Dara Sakolsky, John Piacentini, Scott N. Compton, Anne Marie Albano, Boris Birmaher, Golda S. Ginsburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Youth anxiety interventions have potential to reduce risk for depression and suicidality. Methods: This naturalistic follow-up of the multi-site, comparative treatment trial, inking and behavior, and depressive symptoms 3–11 years (mean 6.25 years) following 12-week evidence-based youth anxiety treatment. Participants (N = 319; 10–26 years, mean 17 years) completed semiannual questionnaires and annual diagnostic interviews for 4 years. Results: One-fifth (20.4%) of the sample met DSM-IV criteria for a mood disorder, 32.1% endorsed suicidal ideation, and 8.2% reported suicidal behavior. Latent class growth analysis yielded two linear trajectories of depressive symptoms, and 85% of the sample demonstrated a persistent low-symptom course over seven assessments. Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS) 12-week treatment outcome (positive response, remission) and treatment condition (cognitive behavior therapy [CBT], medication, CBT + medication, pill placebo) were not associated with subsequent mood disorder or suicidal thinking. CAMS remission predicted absence of suicidal behavior, and treatment response and remission predicted low depressive symptom trajectory. Greater baseline self-reported depressive symptoms predicted all long-term mood outcomes, and more negative life events predicted subsequent mood disorder, depressive symptom trajectory, and suicidal ideation. Conclusions: Effective early treatment of youth anxiety, including CBT, medication, or CBT + medication, reduces risk for subsequent chronic depressive symptoms and suicidal behavior. Attention to (sub)clinical depressive symptoms and management of negative life events may reduce odds of developing a mood disorder, chronic depressive symptoms, and suicidality. Findings contribute to evidence that early intervention for a primary disorder can serve as secondary prevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)930-940
Number of pages11
JournalDepression and anxiety
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • adolescent
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • follow-up studies
  • mood disorders
  • suicidal ideation
  • treatment outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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