Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Inadequate Evidence Backs School MH Efforts

Only limited evidence supports the role of school environment in impacting adolescent mental health, according to a review by researchers at England's University of Bristol. They evaluated reports from five controlled trials and 23 cohort studies. “Two nonrandomized trials found some evidence that a supportive school environment improved student emotional health, but three randomized controlled trials did not,” they said in the journal Pediatrics, published online April 2. “Six cohort papers examined school-level factors but found no effect. Methodological shortcomings were common.”

Perceptions of school connectedness and teacher support predicted future emotional health, but school effects were smaller than individual-level effects, they said. More studies, especially randomized controlled trials, are needed to  understand which school-based interventions can benefit students' mental health.

To read more in about mental health interventions in schools, see Psychiatric News here and here.

(Image: Elena Eliseeva/


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