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School-based, two-arm, parallel, controlled trial of a culturally adapted resilience intervention to improve adolescent mental health in Vietnam: study protocol
  1. Thach Tran1,
  2. Huong Thanh Nguyen2,
  3. Ian Shochet3,
  4. Astrid Wurfl3,
  5. Jayne Orr3,
  6. Nga Nguyen2,
  7. Nga La2,
  8. Hau Nguyen1,
  9. Ruby Stocker1,
  10. Trang Nguyen1,
  11. Minh Le1,
  12. Jane Fisher1
  1. 1Global and Women's Health, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2Department of Health Education, Faculty of Social Science, Behavior and Health Education, Hanoi University of Public Health, Hanoi, Vietnam
  3. 3School of Psychology and Counselling, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jane Fisher; jane.fisher{at}


Introduction The Resourceful Adolescent Program (RAP) is an evidence-based resilience intervention for adolescents. Operating in a strength-focused paradigm, the programme uses an integration of cognitive behavioural therapy and interpersonal psychotherapy to improve coping skills and build resilience. This study aims to establish whether a culturally and linguistically adapted intervention informed by RAP principles is effective in increasing resilience, enhancing coping skills and preventing symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Methods and analysis We will translate, back-translate and culturally adapt the RAP for adolescents and training materials for facilitators, and the adapted intervention will be called Happy House. A two-arm parallel controlled trial will be conducted in eight high schools in the north of Vietnam. In each of the selected schools, all students from four randomly selected grade 10 classes (an estimation of about 1204 students) will be invited to participate. The control group will receive the usual curriculum. The intervention group will receive six weekly 90 min school-based group sessions of Happy House in addition to the usual curriculum. The primary outcome, depressive symptoms, will be measured using a locally validated version of the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale Revised. Secondary outcomes are mental well-being, coping self-efficacy, school connectedness, anger management and health risk behaviours. Data will be collected at recruitment, and at two weeks and six months post intervention. Mixed-effect logistic regression for the main outcome and mixed-effect linear and logistic regression models for the secondary outcomes will be conducted to estimate the effects of the intervention on the outcomes.

Ethics and dissemination This trial has been approved by Monash University Human Research Ethics Committee (No. 21455) and the Institutional Review Board of the Hanoi School of Public Health (488/2019/YTCC-HD3). Dissemination of findings will include peer-reviewed publications, international and national conferences, seminar and media presentations, national policy briefings in Vietnam, local language reports and lay language summaries for participants.

Trial registration numbers Registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, registration number: ACTRN12620000088943 (3/2/2020).

WHO Universal Trial Number: U1111-1246-4079.

  • child & adolescent psychiatry
  • mental health
  • public health

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  • Contributors JF, TT and ML designed the study and prepared the first draft. RS and TN contributed to preparing the first draft. HTN, IS, AW, JO, NN, NL and HN contributed to the design of the study and reviewed and contributed to revisions of the manuscript. All authors agreed on the content of the final submitted version.

  • Funding This research is funded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council—NAFOSTED Joint Call for Collaborative Research Projects (GNT1158429). TT is supported by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Research Fellowship and a Monash Strategic Bridging Fellowship. JF is supported by the Finkel Professorial Fellowship, which is funded by the Finkel Family Foundation.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods and analysis section for further details.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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