Jakob Mechler Foto: Psykologiska institutionen/HD

Jakob Mechler


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Arbetar vid Psykologiska institutionen
Telefon 08-16 38 42
Besöksadress Frescati hagväg 14
Postadress Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


I urval från Stockholms universitets publikationsdatabas
  • 2020. Karin Lindqvist (et al.). Journal of Medical Internet Research 22 (3)

    Background: Adolescent depression is one of the largest health issues in the world and there is a pressing need for effective and accessible treatments.

    Objective: This trial examines whether affect-focused internet-based psychodynamic therapy (IPDT) with therapist support is more effective than an internet-based supportive control condition on reducing depression in adolescents.

    Methods: The trial included 76 adolescents (61/76, 80% female; mean age 16.6 years), self-referred via an open access website and fulfilling criteria for major depressive disorder. Adolescents were randomized to 8 weeks of IPDT (38/76, 50%) or supportive control (38/76, 50%). The primary outcome was self-reported depressive symptoms, measured with the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology for Adolescents (QIDS-A17-SR). Secondary outcomes were anxiety severity, emotion regulation, self-compassion, and an additional depression measure. Assessments were made at baseline, postassessment, and at 6 months follow-up, in addition to weekly assessments of the primary outcome measure as well as emotion regulation during treatment.

    Results: IPDT was significantly more effective than the control condition in reducing depression (d=0.82, P=.01), the result of which was corroborated by the second depression measure (d=0.80, P<.001). IPDT was also significantly more effective in reducing anxiety (d=0.78, P<.001) and increasing emotion regulation (d=0.97, P<.001) and self-compassion (d=0.65, P=.003). Significantly more patients in the IPDT group compared to the control group met criteria for response (56% vs 21%, respectively) and remission (35% vs 8%, respectively). Results on depression and anxiety symptoms were stable at 6 months follow-up. On average, participants completed 5.8 (SD 2.4) of the 8 modules.

    Conclusions: IPDT may be an effective intervention to reduce adolescent depression. Further research is needed, including comparisons with other treatments.

    Trial Registration: International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) 16206254;

  • 2020. Jakob Mechler (et al.). Frontiers in Psychiatry 11

    Objective: Although psychodynamic psychotherapy is efficacious in the treatment of depression, research on mechanisms of change is still scarce. The aim of this study was to investigate if and how emotion regulation affects outcome both as a time-invariant and a lagged time-varying predictor.

    Method: The sample consisted of 67 adolescents diagnosed with major depressive disorder, attending affect-focused psychodynamic internet-based treatment (IPDT). Linear mixed models were used to analyze emotion regulation as a baseline predictor and to assess the effect of within-person changes in emotion regulation on depression.

    Results: Analyses suggested that emotion regulation at baseline was a significant predictor of outcome, where participants with relatively larger emotion regulation deficits gained more from IPDT. Further, the results showed a significant effect of improved emotion regulation on subsequent depressive symptomatology. When not controlling for time, increased emotion regulation explained 41.23% of the variance in subsequent symptoms of depression. When detrending the results were still significant, but the amount of explained variance was reduced to 8.7%.

    Conclusion: The findings suggest that patients with relatively larger deficits in emotion regulation gain more from IPDT. Decreased emotion regulation deficits seem to act as a mechanism of change in IPDT as it drives subsequent changes in depression.

    International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number (ISRCTN) 16206254,

  • 2020. Jakob Mechler (et al.). Trials 21

    Background: Adolescent depression is a common mental health problem and there is an urgent need for effective and accessible treatments. Internet-based interventions solve many obstacles for seeking and receiving treatment, thus increasing access to effective treatments. Internet-based cognitive behavioural therapy (ICBT) for adolescent depression has demonstrated efficacy in previous trials. In order to broaden the range of evidence-based treatments for young people, we evaluated a newly developed affect-focused Internet-based psychodynamic treatment (IPDT) in a previous study with promising results. The purpose of the planned study is to evaluate the efficacy of IPDT for adolescent depression in a non-inferiority trial, comparing it to ICBT.

    Methods: The study will employ a parallel randomized non-inferiority design (ratio 1:1; n = 270). Eligible participants are adolescents 15–19 years suffering from depression. The primary hypothesis is that IPDT will be non-inferior to ICBT in reducing depressive symptoms from pre-treatment to end of treatment. Secondary research questions include comparing outcomes of IPDT and ICBT regarding anxiety symptoms, emotion regulation and self-compassion. Additional data will be collected to evaluate cost-effectiveness as well as investigating predictors, moderators and mediators of outcome. In addition, we will examine long-term outcome up to 1 year after end of treatment. Diagnostic interviews with MINI 7.0 will be used to establish primary diagnosis of depression as well as ruling out any exclusion criteria. Both treatments consist of eight modules over 10 weeks, complemented with therapist support through text messages and weekly chat sessions. Primary outcome measure is the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology in Adolescents Self-Rated (QIDS-A17-SR). Primary outcome will be analysed using data from all participants entering the study using a multilevel growth curve strategy based on the weekly measurements of QIDS-A17-SR. The non-inferiority margin is defined as d = 0.30.

    Discussion: This trial will demonstrate whether IPDT is non-inferior to ICBT in the treatment of adolescent depression. The study might therefore broaden the range of evidence-based treatment alternatives for young people struggling with depression. Further analyses of data from this trial may increase our knowledge about “what works for whom” and the pathways of change for two distinct types of interventions.

    Trial registration: ISRCTN12552584, Registered on 13 August 2019.

  • 2020. Jakob Mechler (et al.). Psychotherapy Research

    Objective: Sudden gains (SGs) have often been found associated with better treatment outcome across different psychiatric disorders. However, no studies have evaluated SGs in internet-based treatment targeting adolescent depression. Method: The sample consisted of 66 adolescents diagnosed with major depressive disorder, attending psychodynamic internet-based treatment. Effects of SGs were evaluated at posttreatment and 6-month follow-up. We also evaluated effects of large intersession improvements (LIIs; sudden and relatively large gains, between sessions, without the stability criterion). Effects of SGs and LIIs early in treatment were also investigated. Results: A total of 17 patients (25.75%) experienced an SG. The effect of having an SG or early SG was non-significant after treatment (d = 0.48) and at follow-up (d= 0.66). However, having an LII was related to better outcome after treatment (d = 0.97) and at follow-up (d = 0.76). Early LIIs were associated with significantly better results at end of treatment (d = 0.72).Conclusions: The original criteria of SGs might be overly conservative and thus miss important improvements in depression. Relatively large intersession gains, regardless of stability, seem to be predictive of outcome.

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Senast uppdaterad: 2 november 2020

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