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Most researchers and practitioners define prevention as those interventions which are conducted before people meet the formal criteria of a depressive disorder according to the DSM-IV. There are three types of prevention, universal,selective and indicated prevention.

Most researchers and practitioners define prevention as those interventions which are conducted before people meet the formal criteria of a depressive disorder according to the DSM-IV. Acute and maintenance treatment are aimed at people who have established disorders meeting diagnostic criteria. Three types of prevention can be discerned:

  1. universal prevention, which is aimed at the general population or parts of the general population, regardless of whether they have a higher than average risk of developing a disorder (e.g., school programs or mass media campaigns);
  2. selective prevention which is aimed at high-risk groups, who have not yet developed a mental disorder; and
  3. indicated prevention which is aimed at individuals who have some symptoms of a mental disorder but do not meet diagnostic criteria.

Does Prevention of Depression work?                                                                Why Prevention?