Turning the tide: reversing the move to late intervention spending in children and young people’s services. | The National Children’s Bureau | The Children’s Society | Action for Children
This report looks at current funding and spending across children and young people’s services. It finds councils no longer have the resources to fund early intervention services and suggests that this is likely to increase demand for more costly ‘late’ interventions.
The report looks at current funding and spend right across children and young people’s services, and provides an estimate of how much councils are receiving for children and young people’s services and where this is being allocated.
Gustafsson, B.M. et al. BMC Pediatrics | Published: 21 April 2017
Background: There is a high risk that young children who show early signs of mental health problems develop symptoms in the same or overlapping areas some years later. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is widely used to screen externalizing and internalizing problems early in life. In Sweden 80–90% of all children aged 1–5 years go to preschool and preschool is thus an appropriate context for finding early signs of mental health problems among children.
Conclusions: The teacher version of the SDQ, for 2–4 year-olds, can be used as a screening instrument to identify early signs of emotional distress/behavioural problems in young children. Preschool teachers seem to be able to identify children with problematic behaviour with the use of SDQ at an early age. The development of behaviour over time differs for the different subscales of SDQ. The Swedish norms for SDQ are to a large extent, similar to findings from other European countries.
Objectives: To provide an example of a successful, novel statewide effort to increase early identification of young children at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) using a 2-tiered screening process with enhanced quality assessment, interagency policy collaboration and coordination.
Conclusions: Improvements in early identification and intervention are feasible through collaborative policy change. The South Carolina Act Early Team and its key stakeholders committed to improving outcomes for this population used existing tools and methods in new ways to improve early identification of children with ASD and to make available evidence-based intervention services. This example should be replicable in other states with key stakeholders working collaboratively for the benefit of young children with
Objectives: Clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) support the translation of research evidence into clinical practice. Key health questions in CPGs ensure that recommendations will be applicable to the clinical context in which the guideline is used. The objectives of this study were to identify CPGs for the pharmacological treatment of first-episode schizophrenia; assess the quality of these guidelines using the Appraisal of Guidelines for Research and Evaluation II (AGREE II) instrument; and compare recommendations in relation to the key health questions that are relevant to the pharmacological treatment of first-episode schizophrenia.
Conclusions: An individual’s experience of using antipsychotic medication for the initial treatment of first-episode schizophrenia may have implications for future engagement, adherence and outcome. While guidelines of good quality exist to assist in medicines optimisation, the evidence base required to answer key health questions relevant to the pharmacological treatment of first-episode schizophrenia is limited.
Linardson, J. et al. (2016) International Journal of Eating Disorders. 49(10) pp. 905–919
Objective: 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.
This report examines why schools are facing a ‘perfect storm’, and makes the case for putting secondary schools at the heart of early intervention provision for children and young people with emerging, low-level mental health problems.