Better evidence for a better world

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Better evidence for a better world
Better evidence for a better world

Better evidence for a better world (169)

Additional Info

  • Authors Trine Filges, Edith Montgomery, Marianne Kastrup, Anne-Marie Klint Jørgensen
  • Published date 2015-09-01
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.13
  • Records available in English, Norwegian, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Detention of asylum seekers has adverse effects on mental health

    Confining asylum seekers in detention centres negatively affects their mental health both during their detention and after their release.

    What did the review study?

    The number of people fleeing conflicts and persecution is increasing. However, many countries use harsh measures to discourage people who wish to apply for asylum. One of the most controversial is confining asylum seekers in detention centres. The number of such centres is rising.

    Understanding the health impact of detaining asylum seekers is important. Asylum seekers have high rates of pre-migration trauma from exposure to war, genocide or imprisonment. These experiences make them vulnerable to health problems. Confining them may worsen the effects of the trauma they have experienced already.

    This Campbell systematic review assessed whether detaining asylum seekers has an impact on their mental health. The review also assessed whether detaining asylum seekers has a negative impact on their physical health and social functioning.

    About this review

    This Campbell systematic review examines the impacts of on health, including mental health (PTSD, anxiety and depression), physical health and social functioning, of confining asylum seekers in detention centres. The review includes nine studies from the UK, Japan, Canada, and Australia.

    What studies were included?

    Included studies compared asylum seekers who were detained with those who were not detained. A total of nine studies met the requirements for inclusion, which analysed 8 different asylum populations. The studies were conducted in four countries: the UK, Japan, Canada, and Australia. All the studies used non-randomised designs.

    Six of the studies were excluded from the analysis because there were important differences between the groups which were compared, or because the studies were judged to have methodological limitations. All of the excluded studies were conducted in Australia, which has a policy of mandatory detention.

    How does detention affect mental health?

    Detention has a negative impact on the mental health of asylum seekers. Levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety both before and after release were found to be higher among asylum seekers who were detained compared to those who were not detained. The size of the effects were clinically important.

    All the studies assessed the mental health of the participants but none reported outcomes related to physical or social functioning.

    What are the research and policy implications of this review?

    Implications for policy- and decision-makers

    Policymakers should consider less harmful policy options than detention. These options may include reporting requirements, sureties or bail, or community supervision. Options that restrict people’s freedom of movement should also be closely monitored to ensure that these do not also have negative mental health effects.

    Research implications

    The research summarized in the review is of moderate quality. Further research is needed to assess the impacts of keeping asylum seekers in detention centres on their physical health and social functioning. A deeper, comparative understanding of the impacts of different detention conditions on asylum seekers is also needed.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies between November 2013 and January 2014.

  • Norwegian

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Norwegian.

  • Spanish

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

Additional Info

  • Authors Kerryann Walsh, Karen Zwi, Sue Woolfenden, Aron Shlonsky
  • Published date 2015-05-04
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.10
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    School-based sexual abuse prevention programmes strengthen children’s protective behaviours and increase knowledge about sexual abuse

    School based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse – in the short term – can increase elementary students’ knowledge of sexual abuse and behaviours protecting them against this type of abuse.

    What did the review study?

    Child sexual abuse is a significant global problem in both magnitude and its consequences. The most widely used primary prevention strategy has been the provision of school-based education programmes. Although programmes have been taught in schools since the 1980s, their effectiveness requires ongoing scrutiny.

    This review assesses whether: programmes are effective in improving students’ protective behaviours and knowledge about sexual abuse prevention; behaviours and skills are retained over time; and participation results in disclosures of sexual abuse, produces harms, or both.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines the effectiveness of school-based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse. The review summarises findings from 24 trials, conducted in the USA, Canada, China, Germany, Taiwan and Turkey. Six meta-analyses are included assessing evidence of moderate quality. This study is an update to a previous review and covers publications up to September 2014.

    Which studies are included in this review?

    Only controlled studies - randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi RCTs – were included. Studies compared the school-based education programme with the standard school curriculum or no intervention.

    What are the main results in this review?

    Do school-based education programmes strengthen children’s protective behaviours and knowledge about sexual abuse?

    School-based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse are more effective than alternative programmes or no programme at all in strengthening children’s knowledge about child sexual abuse prevention and their protective behaviours. Children retain the knowledge gained from programme participation, though no study has assessed retention over a period of longer than six months. No studies examined the retention of protective behaviours over time.

    Disclosures of previous and current occurrences of child sexual abuse increase for participants of school-based education programmes. However, the evidence supporting this finding is weak and should be interpreted with caution.

    Are there any adverse effects from school-based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse?

    School-based education programmes do not cause fear or anxiety among child participants. Parental anxiety or fear was not measured in any of the studies.

    What was the quality of the evidence?

    The quality of the evidence of studies included in this review is moderate due to risk of bias detected for several studies, imprecise data reporting and – for studies using a cluster-randomised design – insufficient data reported for accurate analysis.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    School-based education programmes for the prevention of child sexual abuse are a valid approach to strengthen the knowledge about child sexual abuse, and the protective behaviours of children in primary schools. The review did not assess whether these programs actually prevent child sexual abuse.

    Further research is needed to more rigorously evaluate existing programmes, their content, methods, and delivery, including the use of web-based or online programmes. This research should also explore the potential relation between program participation and actual prevention of child sexual abuse.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published until September 2014.

  • Spanish

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

Additional Info

  • Authors Brandy R. Maynard, Kristen Brendel, Jeffrey J. Bulanda, David Heyne, Aaron Thompson, Terri Pigott
  • Published date 2015-05-04
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.12
  • Records available in English, Norwegian, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Effects of psychosocial interventions for school refusal with primary and secondary students

    Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) for students with severe emotional distress increases school attendance but has no effect on anxiety.

    What is this review about?

    Students who have difficulty in attending school due to emotional distress may display school refusal. Unlike truancy, school refusal is a result of students’ fear, anxiety or depression. The review summarises studies of psychosocial interventions. These interventions are primarily behavioural therapy, involving relaxation or social skills training, or cognitive behavioural therapy.

    This review assessed whether psychosocial interventions for school refusal reduce anxiety and increase attendance.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review assesses the effects of psychosocial interventions for school refusal. The review summarizes the findings from eight studies.

    What studies are included?

    Eight studies, covering 435 school age participants with school refusal, are summarised in this review.

    The review included rigorous evaluations published between January 1980 and November 2013. Studies, which assessed effects of medications only, or studies conducted in residential treatment centres, were not included. All but one study assessed the effects of a variant of cognitive behavioural therapy, and most took place in a clinic setting.

    What are the main results in this review?

    Medium quality evidence shows that cognitive- behavioural therapy (CBT) increases school attendance but has no effect on anxiety.

    The effect of the psychosocial interventions on anxiety was not statistically significant. The effects on attendance were significant.

    Several risks of bias were present in most studies included in the review, which could upwardly bias the estimated effects. Many included studies did not clearly describe how they randomly assigned participants to treatment or control groups. Therefore, the current estimate of treatment effects from the eight rigorous studies should be treated with caution.

    What do the results mean?

    School is an important part of young people’s development. So it is important to address school refusal to ensure that all students engage with school appropriately. The most commonly studied interventions for school refusal are behavioural approaches and cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). The goal of these programs is to reduce the young person’s anxiety and increase attendance.

    The evidence provides tentative support for cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the treatment of school refusal. But there is an overall lack of rigorous studies to draw a firm conclusion. Future studies should have larger sample sizes and pay attention to potential biases. Studies should also consider other types of interventions for rigorous evaluation. Assessing long-term effects may provide additional insights for the mixed findings of the effects of interventions on attendance and anxiety.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    This review started in November 2013, and was published in May 2015.

  • Norwegian

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Norwegian.

  • Spanish

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

Additional Info

  • Authors Elizabeth Kristjansson, Damian K Francis, Selma Liberato, Maria Benkhalti Jandu, Vivian Andrea Welch, Malek Batal, Trisha Greenhalgh, Tamara Rader, Eamonn Noonan, Beverley J. Shea, Laura Janzen, George A. Wells, Mark Petticrew
  • Published date 2015-05-04
  • Coordinating group(s) International Development, Nutrition, Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.11
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Food supplementation is more effective if better targeted and supervised

    Supplementary food has a small effect on nutritional outcomes. It is more effective for younger and poorer children, when provided in day-care or feeding centres than as take home rations, when the supplemental food provides higher energy and when there is stricter program supervision. There is a positive effect on psychomotor development, but no clear evidence of an effect on cognitive development.

    What did the review study?

    Undernutrition is a severe problem, especially low and middle-income countries, where it contributes to the death of a million children each year. It also increases the risks of lowered cognitive functioning, poor school performance and poor health. Supplementary feeding programs aim to close the energy gap from poor nutrition. They provide additional food or beverages with a high energy level to be consumed alongside regular meals.

    This review examines whether food supplementation is effective in improving the health of disadvantaged children aged 3 months to 5 years, and examines the factors that contribute to the effectiveness of food supplementation programs.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review examines whether food supplementation is effective in improving the health of disadvantaged children under 5. The review summarizes findings from 32 studies: 21 randomised controlled trials (RCTs), and 11 controlled before-and-after studies (CBAs).

    What studies are included?

    Studies included in this review compare the effects of supplementary food on children’s physical and psychosocial health to no-feeding or a placebo. Feeding programs could be implemented through day-care, feeding centres, or in the home, though those in a hospital setting were excluded.

    The review includes 32 studies, 21 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and 11 controlled before-and-after studies (CBAs). The majority of the included studies (29) are conducted in low- and middle-income countries.

    What were the main findings of the review?

    Is supplementary food effective in improving the health of disadvantaged children under five?

    Supplementary feeding for young, disadvantaged children has small effects on children’s weight and growth in low- and middle-income countries. Children who are younger, and poorer or more undernourished grow more in response to supplementary feeding.

    More leakage occurs from take home rations. Therefore, food supplementation programs implemented through day care centres seem to be more effective, as are those with stricter supervision.

    Both single and multiple interventions were effective for weight gain in children but the effect size for multiple interventions was higher. The effect is also higher for higher energy meals.

    There is a positive effect on psychomotor development, which is development of skills that require both mental and muscular activity (such as crawling, walking, talking). However, there was no clear evidence of an effect on cognitive development.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    Targeting and strict supervision may increase the effectiveness of food supplementation programs.

    The supplement should contain at least 30 per cent of the recommended daily intake. Consideration should also be given to providing rations for other family members to avoid leakage.

    There is a need to fund additional trials to examine the impact of supplementary feeding on the psychosocial development of young, disadvantaged children. More research is also needed on the implementation of high-quality interventions and large-scale programmes for supplementary feeding.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies until January 2014.

  • Spanish

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

Additional Info

  • Authors Jane Barlow, Cathy Bennett, Nick Midgley, Soili Larkin, Yinghui Wei
  • Published date 2015-03-02
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.6
  • Records available in English, Norwegian, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Parent-infant psychotherapy for high-risk mothers may be better than no treatment, but no better than alternative treatments

    Parent-infant Psychotherapy (PIP) for parents experiencing adversity, may improve the attachment of infants compared to no treatment, but there is no evidence that PIP has an impact on any other outcomes (e.g. parental mental health). PIP does not appear to be more effective than alternative treatments in improving maternal or infant mental health.

    What did the review study?

    Parent-infant psychotherapy (PIP) aims to address infant problems such as emotional, behavioural, eating and sleeping disorders. It also aims to address problems in the parents’ relationship with an infant, such as bonding difficulties or low sensitivity. It targets the relationship between the infant and his or her parent, and psychotherapists using this psychodynamic approach deliver it jointly to both the parent and the infant, typically in weekly meetings over the course of five to twenty weeks.

    This review examines if using PIP with mothers experiencing adversity is effective in improving maternal and infant mental health and the mother-infant relationship. The review also assesses the effectiveness of PIP for a mother’s ability to care for her baby, and for infant stress and development.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review compares the effectiveness of Parent-Infant Psychotherapy (PIP) in improving the mental health of parents, the parent-infant relationship and infant emotional wellbeing with that of no treatment, treatment as usual and alternative treatments. The review summarises findings from eight randomised controlled trials (RCTs), with a total of 846 participants.

    What studies are included?

    The studies included in this review compare the effects of PIP programmes with a control group that received no treatment, treatment-as-usual, or an alternative treatment, such as interaction guidance, psychoeducation, counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy.

    Eight randomised controlled trials studies are included, with a total of 846 parents with infants aged up to 2 years. Four studies compare PIP to no treatment or treatment-as-usual, and four to alternative treatments. Three of these studies were conducted in the USA, and one each in Canada, Switzerland and Sweden.The included studies were based on samples that included mothers only, all of whom experienced mental health problems, domestic abuse or substance dependency, and some of whom were also in prison.

    Is PIP effective for high-risk populations?

    Compared with no treatment or treatment-as-usual, PIP participants show an increase in the number of infants securely attached; fewer infants with an avoidant or disorganised attachment style; and more infants moving from insecure to secure attachment. This was maintained at follow up.

    PIP is neither more nor less effective than no treatment or treatment-as-usual in improving maternal mental health, and reflective functioning; infant stress and development; or the quality of the mother-infant interaction.

    Does PIP have any adverse effects?

    Few adverse effects were identified in the included studies. One study showed that infants whose mothers received PIP stayed in the same attachment category or showed a less secure attachment.

    What was the quality of the evidence?

    The quality of the evidence of studies included in this review is weak. Only a few studies were included and these were based on small sample sizes, and several methodological biases were detected. Results, should therefore, be interpreted with caution.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    PIP is a potentially effective method of improving the attachment status of infants of mothers experiencing adversity, but there is no evidence to support its use to improve other aspects of the relationship or parental functioning, nor to support the use of PIP over other treatment approaches. This evidence should be treated with caution due to methodological problems.

    Further high-quality and rigorous research is needed to assess the effectiveness of PIP compared with other models, such as interaction guidance. Further research is also needed to establish the impact of PIP on other potentially important outcomes such as parental mental health and reflective functioning.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published until January 2014.

  • Norwegian

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Norwegian.

  • Spanish

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

Additional Info

  • Authors Trine Filges, Pernille Skovbo Rasmussen, Ditte Andersen, Anne-Marie Klint Jorgensen
  • Published date 2015-03-02
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.8

Additional Info

  • Authors Maia Lindstrøm, Madina Saidj, Krystyna Kowalski, Trine Filges, Pernille Skovbo Rasmussen, Anne-Marie Klint Jørgensen
  • Published date 2015-03-02
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.9

Additional Info

  • Authors Sabine Wollscheid, Heather Menzies Munthe-Kaas, Karianne Thune Hammerstrøm, Eamonn Noonan
  • Published date 2015-03-02
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.7
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Improving communication between public services and minority language speakers

    No particular approach to interpretation (in-person, telephone, bilingual staff or ad hoc) works better than others to improve the quality of communication and patient satisfaction for people with a minority language background that use public services. An enhanced English as a Second Language (ESL) class did increase parents’ involvement in children’s schoolwork, and their English skills improved more than with a regular ESL course.

    What is this review about?

    As a result of increased immigration, many people having a minority language background use public services. In principle, all people should have access to services, and equal access is sometimes required by law.

    Well-functioning communication is important for effective help from public services. Mis-communication can lead to wrong decisions and poor results. Services may need to be able to provide communication tailored to people with limited skills in the main languages spoken in the country they are residing in.

    The review includes studies in the United States, of aids used to improve communication between immigrant children, youth or families with a minority language background, and public services such as child welfare or health services.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This systematic review examines whether aids for communication are effective between public services and children and youth, or families with an immigrant background. The researchers analyse relevant studies, and the team included four comparative studies, three for health services and one for education.

    What are the main results in this review?

    Which communication aids are included?

    Communication aids fall into three categories: (a) those to help verbal or direct communication such as different types of interpretation services; (b) those to help written communication, such as translation of case documents or information materials; and (c) broader aids to improve communication between service providers and service users. This category includes, for instance, second language training for parents in order to improve their ability to communicate with their child’s school.

    How effective are communication aids used?

    Three studies conducted within health services compare the effect of different types of interpretation service or of using bilingual personnel.

    There is no clear indication that any particular approach to interpretation works better than others. None of in-person, telephone, bilingual staff or ad hoc interpreting could demonstrate a clear advantage over other approaches. There is uncertainty about the reliability of this finding because the studies had limitations, including small scale.

    One study of the effect of two different training programmes of ESL suggests that:

    • An enhanced ESL class (where the course was tailored to immigrant parents) improved parents’ involvement in students’ schoolwork and parents’ English skills more than a regular ESL course.
    • There is uncertainty about the reliability of this finding because the study had important limitations, including small scale. Similar studies of more robust design are needed in order to draw firm conclusions.

    What do the findings of this review mean?

    There is in most cases no significant difference in communication quality and patient satisfaction between different means of aiding communication between people having a minority language background and public services workers. One study suggests that an ESL course integrating parent involvement knowledge with behaviour was more effective than standard ESL.

    There is a need for additional studies of communication aids used between this population and public services, particularly for services outside health care, such as child welfare, school and early childcare, work and welfare services, and prison and probation services.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published up to January 2013.

  • Spanish

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

Additional Info

  • Authors Trine Filges, Geir Smedslund, Anne-Sofie Due Knudsen, Anne-Marie Klint Jorgensen
  • Published date 2015-01-02
  • Coordinating group(s) Social Welfare
  • Type of document Review
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.2

Additional Info

  • Authors Carlton J. Fong, Kathleen Murphy, John D. Westbrook, Minda Markle
  • Published date 2015-01-02
  • Coordinating group(s) Education
  • Type of document Review Plain language summary
  • Library Image Library Image
  • See the full review https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.4073/csr.2015.5
  • Records available in English, Spanish
  • English

    PLAIN LANGUAGE SUMMARY

    Employment status of cancer survivors improve with multi-component support programmes

    There is promising evidence that psychosocial interventions may improve employment status for cancer survivors, but don’t have an effect on hours of work or sick leave. These interventions range from information sessions and vocational training workshops to counselling and physical therapy.

    What is the review about?

    Employment is an important stabilizing factor for cancer survivors. A study from 2009 showed that the rate of unemployment among cancer survivors is 34 percent, more than twice that of a comparable healthy population.

    This Campbell review estimates the effects of psychosocial interventions for adult cancer survivors. It focuses on interventions to improve employment outcomes such as employment status, return-to-work, absenteeism and time spent on sick leave.

    What is the aim of this review?

    This Campbell systematic review reports the effects of psychosocial interventions on employment outcomes for cancer survivors. The review summarises findings from 12 studies covering 2,151 cancer survivors.

    What studies are included?

    This review includes 12 studies published between 1980 and 2013 that evaluate the effects of psychosocial interventions on the employment of cancer survivors. Eight of the studies are randomised controlled trials and four are quasi-experimental studies.

    Due to the nature of the disease, cancer survivors tend to be older. The majority of studies had participants over the age of 50.

    What were the main findings of the review?

    What kinds of psychosocial interventions are there?

    Interventions include education, training, psychological support, environmental adjustments or accommodations, flexible or job-sharing work conditions, or job search and placement assistance. Most interventions include more than one component to address barriers to employment.

    What do the findings in this review mean?

    Whilst there are too few studies to provide evidence in support of specific practices, multi-component interventions that incorporate information or education training, counselling or coping skills sessions and also physical exercise may be the best way to benefit cancer survivors’ employment outcomes.

    Additional research should focus on trials that collect information on employment status and not solely self-reported measures of quality of life. Studies should also describe in more detail an intervention’s features and duration.

    How up-to-date is this review?

    The review authors searched for studies published until 2013.

  • Spanish

    Click on 'Download PDF' on the right to view the plain language summary in Spanish.

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