Welcome to the CAMHS online newsfeed. Here you’ll find all the latest research, news stories, policy updates and guidelines. View our other newsfeeds for more subject-specific news.


Association between bullying behavior, perceived school safety, and self-cutting

Hamada, S et al. Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Published online: 25 November 2016


Background: No previous population-based studies have examined associations between self-cutting, perceived school safety, and bullying behavior among East Asian adolescents.

Conclusions: Self-cutting among Japanese adolescents was linked with bullying behavior and feeling unsafe at school. Secure school environments and school-based antibullying programs could help to prevent adolescent self-injurious behavior.

Read the full abstract here

Funding child and adolescent mental health services

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has published information and an interactive map which highlights the variations on the planned spend on children and adolescent mental health services by CCGs across the country during the period 2016/2017.

The Government has pledged to invest in child and adolescent mental health services, with £119 million of NHS funding allocated to clinical commissioning groups for this financial year and another £140 million promised for 2017/18, with an additional £30 million for eating disorder services.

Click on the map below and see spend in your area:

Image source: http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/

Calls for new Prime Minister’s Challenge on children’s mental health

Education Policy Institute | Published online: November 2016

Image source: EPI

The Education Policy Institute has identified that specialist mental health services are, on average, turning away 23 per cent, or almost one in four, children and young people referred to them for treatment by their teachers or GPs. We also identified a postcode lottery of waiting times for those whose referrals were accepted.

The Institute’s investigation into progress and challenges in the transformation of children and young people’s mental health care has found wide variation in the quality of local strategies. Under our scoring system, only 15 per cent of local areas were found to have ‘good’ plans. We also identified significant barriers to progress. For example, 8 out of 10 providers face recruitment difficulties, and there has been an 80 per cent increase in expenditure on temporary staffing in the last two years.

Read an overview here

Read the full report here

Developmental and behavioural associations of burns and scalds in children

Emond, A. et al. Archives of Disease in Childhood. Published Online: 13 November 2016

B0006880 Skin cells from a scald
Image source: Anne Weston, LRI, CRUK – Wellcome Images // CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Image shows skin cells from the blistered area of a scald.

Objective: To investigate child developmental and behavioural characteristics and risk of burns and scalds.

Design: Data on burns in children up to 11 years from 12 966 participants in the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children were linked to developmental profiles measured before the burn injury.

Measures: Preinjury profiles of the children derived from maternal questionnaires completed in pregnancy, and at 6, 18, 42, 47 and 54 months. Injury data collected by questionnaire at 6, 15 and 24 months and 3.5, 4.5, 5.5, 6.5, 8.5 and 11 years of age.

Results: Incidence: Burn rates were as follows: birth–2 years 71.9/1000/year; 2–4.5 years 42.2/1000/year; 5–11 years 14.3/1000/year. Boys <2 years were more likely to sustain burns, and girls had more burns between age 5 and 11 years. Medical attention was sought for 11% of burn injuries. Development: Up to age 2 years, burns were more likely in children with the most advanced gross motor developmental scores and the slowest fine motor development. Children with coordination problems at 4.5 years of age had increased risk of burns between 5 and 11 years. No associations were observed with cognitive skills. Behaviour: At 3.5 years, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire scores and reported frequent temper tantrums predicted subsequent burns in primary school age. After adjustment for confounders, burns in the preschool period were related to gender and motor development, and in school-aged children, to frequent temper tantrums, hyperactivity and coordination difficulties.

Conclusion: Child factors associated with increased risk of burns were male gender in infancy and female gender at school age, advanced gross motor development, coordination difficulties, hyperactivity and problems with emotional regulation.

Read the abstract here

Gender Identity and Eating Disorders

Murray, S.B. Journal of Adolescent Health. Published online: November 10, 2016


Few psychiatric disorders are as sexually dimorphic as the eating disorders. Current prevalence estimates illustrate a striking disparity between male and female eating disorders, with many reports noting a ratio of 1:10 . While recent epidemiological data suggest a ratio closer to 1:4, the relative greater preponderance of eating disorders in female populations is well established.

Furthermore, alongside these differential prevalence rates, recent evidence also points toward a phenomenological difference in the symptomatic presentation of male versus female eating disorders. Indeed, epidemiological studies have consistently illustrated greater self-reported concerns around muscularity than thinness among males and a greater concern around thinness as opposed to muscularity in females.

This distinction is also evident in clinical populations, where males with eating disorders are likely to report greater concern, and concomitant eating disorder psychopathology, around their degree of muscularity, as opposed to thinness per se, whereas females with eating disorders do not typically endorse muscularity-oriented concerns.

Read the full article here

Rapid response to eating disorder treatment: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Linardson, J. et al. (2016) International Journal of Eating Disorders49(10) pp. 905–919

drip-1066410_960_720Objective: This review aimed to (a) examine the effects of rapid response on behavioral, cognitive, and weight-gain outcomes across the eating disorders, (b) determine whether diagnosis, treatment modality, the type of rapid response (changes in disordered eating cognitions or behaviors), or the type of behavioral outcome moderated this effect, and (c) identify factors that predict a rapid response.

Method: Thirty-four articles met inclusion criteria from six databases. End of treatment and follow-up outcomes were divided into three categories: Behavioral (binge eating/purging), cognitive (EDE global scores), and weight gain. Average weighted effect sizes(r) were calculated.

Results: Rapid response strongly predicted better end of treatment and follow-up cognitive and behavioral outcomes. Moderator analyses showed that the effect size for rapid response on behavioral outcomes was larger when studies included both binge eating and purging (as opposed to just binge eating) as a behavioral outcome. Diagnosis, treatment modality, and the type of rapid response experienced did not moderate the relationship between early response and outcome. The evidence for weight gain was mixed. None of the baseline variables analyzed (eating disorder psychopathology, demographics, BMI, and depression scores) predicted a rapid response.

Discussion: As there is a solid evidence base supporting the prognostic importance of rapid response, the focus should shift toward identifying the within-treatment mechanisms that predict a rapid response so that the effectiveness of eating disorder treatment can be improved. There is a need for future research to use theories of eating disorders as a guide to assess within-treatment predictors of rapid response.

Read the abstract here