The CLIMATE schools combined study : a cluster randomised controlled trial of a universal Internet-based prevention program for youth substance misuse, depression and anxiety

Teesson, Maree, Newton, Nicola, Slade, Tim, Chapman, Cath, Allsop, Steve, Hides, Leanne, Mewton, Louise, Tonks, Zoe, McBride, Nyanda, Birrell, Louise, Brownhill, Louise, & Andrews, Gavin (2014) The CLIMATE schools combined study : a cluster randomised controlled trial of a universal Internet-based prevention program for youth substance misuse, depression and anxiety. BMC Psychiatry, 14(32).

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Anxiety, depressive and substance use disorders account for three quarters of the disability attributed to mental disorders and frequently co-occur. While programs for the prevention and reduction of symptoms associated with (i) substance use and (ii) mental health disorders exist, research is yet to determine if a combined approach is more effective. This paper describes the study protocol of a cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of the CLIMATE Schools Combined intervention, a universal approach to preventing substance use and mental health problems among adolescents.


Participants will consist of approximately 8400 students aged 13 to 14-years-old from 84 secondary schools in New South Wales, Western Australia and Queensland, Australia. The schools will be cluster randomised to one of four groups; (i) CLIMATE Schools Combined intervention; (ii) CLIMATE Schools - Substance Use; (iii) CLIMATE Schools - Mental Health, or (iv) Control (Health and Physical Education as usual). The primary outcomes of the trial will be the uptake and harmful use of alcohol and other drugs, mental health symptomatology and anxiety, depression and substance use knowledge. Secondary outcomes include substance use related harms, self-efficacy to resist peer pressure, general disability, and truancy. The link between personality and substance use will also be examined.


Compared to students who receive the universal CLIMATE Schools - Substance Use, or CLIMATE Schools - Mental Health or the Control condition (who received usual Health and Physical Education), we expect students who receive the CLIMATE Schools Combined intervention to show greater delays to the initiation of substance use, reductions in substance use and mental health symptoms, and increased substance use and mental health knowledge

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ID Code: 67103
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Prevention, School, Universal, Internet, Randomised controlled trial, Mental health, Depression, Anxiety, Substance use
DOI: 10.1186/1471-244X-14-32
ISSN: 1471-244X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 2014 Teesson et al.
Copyright Statement: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain
Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2014 22:24
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2014 15:01

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