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Clinical Trial Summary

In Hong Kong, 7% of adolescents are diagnosed with anxiety disorders and one in every four secondary school students reports clinical-level anxiety symptoms. However, the vast majority (65%) of them do not access services. Long waitlists in public services, the high cost of private services, or the fear of being stigmatized in school can hinder access to services. The high prevalence of anxiety and low intervention uptake indicates that there is a need to develop timely, scalable, and potent interventions suitable for adolescents. Growth mindset single-session interventions (SSIs) have the potential to be scalable interventions for diagnosable or subclinical psychopathology in adolescents. The key mechanism of effective SSIs is to provide precise intervention on the key aspect to trigger sudden gains and symptom reduction. The principal investigator's previous project (2019-2020) found a fixed mindset of negative emotion more closely related to anxiety than was a fixed mindset of personality. The findings provide strong support that intervention targeted on the fixed mindset of negative emotion can be a more precise intervention for adolescent anxiety than the existing SSI on growth mindset of personality (SSI-GP). The proposed study is to develop The Single-session Intervention of Growth Mindset for Anxiety (SIGMA) to teach adolescents that negative emotions can change and to compare its effectiveness in reducing anxiety to SSI-GP and an active control group with a three-arm randomized control trial. Adolescents (N=549, ages 12-16) from secondary schools will be randomised to one of three intervention conditions: the SIGMA, SSI-GP, or active control. All programs are approximately 40 minutes in length and self-administered by youth. Adolescents will be assessed for their anxiety symptoms (primary outcome), perceived control, hopelessness, and attitude towards help-seeking at pre-intervention, and 2-week and 8-week follow-up. A pilot test has confirmed the feasibility and acceptability of SIGMA among adolescents. The investigators hypothesised that SIGMA and SSI-GP will result in a larger reduction in anxiety symptoms than the control intervention at the end of treatment and follow-up period. The investigators also predict SIGMA will have a greater effect than SSI-GP. Intention-to-treat principle and linear regression-based maximum likelihood multi-level models will be used for data analysis. The project brings together experts in mindset research, local social work, web-based intervention, statistics, youth mental health studies, and psychiatry. This study will provide evidence on what matters in growth mindset interventions for adolescent anxiety and serve as a scalable and accessible intervention to improve the well-being of young people.


Clinical Trial Description

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Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT05027880
Study type Interventional
Source The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Contact Shimin Zhu, PHD
Phone +85251187809
Email [email protected]
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date October 1, 2021
Completion date June 30, 2023

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