Effect of Shamiri Layperson-Provided Intervention vs Study Skills Control Intervention for Depression and Anxiety Symptoms in Adolescents in Kenya: A Randomized Clinical Trial.

Tom Osborn, Katherine Venturo-Conerly, Susana Arango, Elizabeth Roe, Micaela Rodriguez, Rediet Alemu, Jenny Gan, Akash Wasil, Benny Otieno, Thomas Rusch, David Ndetei, Christine Wasanga, Jessica Schleider, John Weisz

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Low-cost interventions for adolescent depression and anxiety are needed in low-resource countries such as those in Sub-Saharan Africa.

To assess whether Shamiri, a 4-week layperson-delivered group intervention that teaches growth mindset, gratitude, and value affirmation, can alleviate depression and anxiety symptoms in symptomatic Kenyan adolescents.

Design, Setting, and Participants
This school-based randomized clinical trial included outcomes assessed at baseline, posttreatment, and 2-week and 7-month follow-up from 4 secondary schools in Nairobi and Kiambu County, Kenya. Adolescents aged 13 to 18 years with elevated symptoms on standardized depression or anxiety measures were eligible. Intent-to-treat analyses were used to analyze effects. Recruitment took place in June 2019; follow-up data were collected in August 2019 and February 2020.

Adolescents were randomized to the Shamiri intervention or to a study skills control. All adolescents in both conditions met in groups (mean group size, 9) for 60 minutes per week for 4 weeks.

Main Outcomes and Measures
Primary outcomes were depression (Patient Health Questionnaire–8 item) and anxiety (Generalized Anxiety Disorder–7 item) symptoms. Analyses of imputed data were hypothesized to reveal significant reductions in depression and anxiety symptoms for adolescents assigned to Shamiri compared with those in the study skills group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829 - 837
JournalJAMA Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 101018 Statistics
  • 501
  • 509013 Social statistics
  • 509

Cite this