Brief, parent-led, transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral teletherapy for youth with emotional problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic

Date of this Version


Document Type





Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to increased stress, anxiety, and depression in children. A sixsession, parent-led, transdiagnostic, cognitive-behavioral teletherapy program was adapted from an established protocol to help youth aged between 5 and 13 years manage emotional problems during the pandemic. Methods: One-hundred twenty-nine parents of youth struggling with emotional problems during the COVID-19 pandemic participated in the program. Parents reported on their children's psychosocial functioning before and after treatment using validated assessments. They also reported on treatment satisfaction. Clinician-rated global improvement was assessed at each session to determine clinically significant treatment response. Results: Significant improvements in parent proxy-reported anxiety (d = 0.56), depression (d = 0.69), stress (d = 0.61), anger (d = 0.69), family relationships (d = 0.32), and COVID-19-related distress (d = 1.08) were found, with 62% of participants who completed the program being classified as treatment responders. Parents reported high levels of satisfaction with the program. Limitations: This study was limited by use of primarily parent-report assessments and a lack of a control group. Conclusions: Brief, parent-led, transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral teletherapy appeared to be an effective way to help youth cope with the pandemic and may be a scalable framework in response to large-scale mental health crises.


Additional authors listed on article available for download



Rights Statement

Rights Statement

In Copyright. URI: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).