Indirect Prevention and Treatment of Depression: An Emerging Paradigm?


  • Pim Cuijpers Orcid


Background: Although depression is one of the main public health challenges of our time, the uptake of interventions aimed at the prevention and treatment is low to modest. New approaches are needed to reduce the disease burden of depression.
Method: Indirect prevention and treatment may be one method to increase uptake of services. Indirect interventions aim at problems related to depression but with lower stigma and prevent or treat depression indirectly. This paper describes the approach, the empirical support and limitations.
Results: A growing number of studies focus on indirect prevention and treatment. Several studies have examining the possibilities to prevent and treat depression through interventions aimed at insomnia. Several other studies focus on indirect interventions aimed at for example stress and perfectionism. Digital ‘suites’ of interventions may focus on daily problems of for example students or the workplace and offer a broad range of indirect interventions in specific settings.
Conclusion: Indirect prevention and treatment may be a new approach to increase uptake and reduce the disease burden of depression.