Potential value of the current mental health monitoring of children in state care in England

Cocker, C., Minnis, H. and Sweeting, H. (2018) Potential value of the current mental health monitoring of children in state care in England. BJPsych Open, 4(6), pp. 486-491. (doi:10.1192/bjo.2018.70)

[img]
Preview
Text
171582.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

252kB

Abstract

Background: Routine screening to identify mental health problems in English looked-after children has been conducted since 2009 using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Aims: To investigate the degree to which data collection achieves screening aims (identifying scale of problem, having an impact on mental health) and the potential analytic value of the data set. Method: Department for Education data (2009–2017) were used to examine: aggregate, population-level trends in SDQ scores in 4/5- to 16/17-year-olds; representativeness of the SDQ sample; attrition in this sample. Results: Mean SDQ scores (around 50% ‘abnormal’ or ‘borderline’) were stable over 9 years. Levels of missing data were high (25–30%), as was attrition (28% retained for 4 years). Cross-sectional SDQ samples were not representative and longitudinal samples were biased. Conclusions: Mental health screening appears justified and the data set has research potential, but the English screening programme falls short because of missing data and inadequate referral routes for those with difficulties. Declaration of interest: None.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Minnis, Professor Helen and COCKER, Christine and Sweeting, Dr Helen
Authors: Cocker, C., Minnis, H., and Sweeting, H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Mental Health and Wellbeing
Journal Name:BJPsych Open
Publisher:Royal College of Psychiatrists
ISSN:2056-4724
ISSN (Online):2056-4724
Published Online:14 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Royal College of Psychiatrists
First Published:First published in BJPsych Open 4(6): 486-491
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record

Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727641SPHSU Core Renewal: Setting and Health Improvement Research ProgrammeKathryn HuntMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/12IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU