--Original published at Jess Principe's Blog
By: Jessica Principe
Researcher have looked at the possible benefits of Brief Behavioral Therapy (BBT) over assisted referral mental health care (ARC) for youth with mental health disorders. In an original study conducted by V. Robin Weersing, David A. Brent, Michelle S. Rozenman, Araceli Gonzalez, Megan Jeffreys, John F. Dickerson, Frances L. Lynch, Giovanna Porta, and Satish Iyengar, for JAMA Psychiatry, were researching to see if the BBT therapy group showed significant mental health improvements compared to the youth recipients of ARC therapy group.
Depression and Anxiety affect about 30% of youth, but remain as two of the most under treated mental health disorders today (JAMA network, 2017). The researchers were attempting to gather evidence that the BBT therapy, which is more targeted therapy in a pediatric setting, showed superior results compared to the traditional outpatient community mental health care referral (JAMA network, 2017). Although JAMA Psychiatry states that more repeated studies will need to be done in order to increase their sample size and obtain more evidence that the BBT can be more successful in improving mental health disorders than ARC, their first study did show significant results.
The JAMA Psychiatry study recruited 95 participants from San Diego, California to the BBT group and 90 to the ARC group. The participants were not randomly selected, they were referred to by pediatricians if the patients met the requirements of a baseline test to then be placed into either the BBT or ARC group. Both groups underwent the therapy of their group for 8-12 weeks of 45 minute sessions. The results indicated that in the BBT group, 56.8% improved on a scale used to assess improvement across both anxiety and depression, and In the ARC group, only 28.2% improved (JAMA network, 2017). The Hispanic youths of the study were also observed as an additional element. The article’s results claimed that Hispanic youths had a stronger rate of improvement to their disorders in the BBT group, in which 76.5% improved, compared to the ARC group, where only 7.1% improved (JAMA network, 2017). Although it is obvious through their research that this was a smaller study, with a small sample size, and early data, the results lead the researchers to believe that their study provided significant data to expand their research.
The pop culture article does well in describing the results of the study, the reasons for why the study was conducted, and makes it clear that additional studies need to be done to strengthen that results of the data found. I aimed to include all of that in my summary as well. A weakness is the five critical questions are not answered well in the pop culture article, they do not discuss how the participants were selected and divided into groups like the scholarly article does. I discussed this in my summary, but also in a way that would be easy for a general audience to understand. I did not direct that results to a specific audience because the study was conducted with non randomly selected participants only from San Diego, California, therefore the results can not be generalized to any population at this time. I did not include to generalize my results to any population in my article summary nor discuss why, because a general audience reading my article may not know the correlation between random sample and generalizing results to a specific audience.
During this process, I recognize that in order to make an article, especially a science based one, easy to understand for a general audience, the study must be concise, reveal the purpose, results, and discussion accurately. One element I see is essential is to include the five critical questions, even in a pop culture article, because it makes the source more credible to advance readers such as psychologists, doctors, or professors, for example, in the case of this essay. The scholarly article does very well in including all of these elements, however, the scholarly article also includes a very detailed analysis of all the research found, making it harder for a general audience to understand compared to what is summarized in the pop culture article. For the media production assignment, I aimed for a healthy medium between the two, attempting to efficiently summarize the goals, data, and results of the research in a way that a general audience could easily understand and interpret.
Weersing, V. R. (2017, June 01). Brief Behavioral Therapy for Pediatric Anxiety and Depression
in Primary Care. Retrieved March 18, 2019, from
“Pediatrics-Based Brief Therapy Outdoes Referral for Youths with Anxiety and Depression.”
National Institute of Mental Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 31