Effectiveness of brief intervention and case management for children and adolescents with mental health difficulties

et al
Journal article citation:
Children and Youth Services Review, 79, 2017, pp.362-367.

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of a Brief Intervention (BI) and Treatment As Usual (TAU) in a sample of children and adolescents seeking mental health treatment from a Child and Youth Mental Health Service (CYMHS). BI comprised up to six sessions of psychological therapy from trainee psychologists, and TAU involves case management incorporating assessment and psychological treatment (e.g., individual, parent, family therapy), plus linkage to other services. Method: A matched subjects design was used to evaluate the BI (n = 79) and TAU (n = 79) treatment conditions. Participants were matched according to age, gender, and baseline symptom scores on the Health of the Nations Outcome Scale for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA), which was completed at pre- and post-treatment. The HoNOSCA is a clinician-rated measure of symptoms experienced in the previous two weeks. Results: BI and TAU both significantly reduced mental health symptoms, with no significant difference between treatments overall, on Externalising or Emotional problems subscales, or on the percentage of most problematic items for participants. Conclusions: BI was as effective as TAU in reducing mental health symptoms in some children and adolescents. BI however is briefer, and could form part of a Stepped Care model for CYMHS. Further research is required to establish the most effective elements of BI in reducing mental health symptoms. (Publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
therapies, intervention, case management, children, young people, outcomes, mental health problems, treatment, evaluation, child and adolescent mental health services;
Content type:
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