Methods to Prevent Mental ill-Health in Children

This document was published more than 2 years ago. The nature of the evidence may have changed.

Tables of included studies

Finding methods to prevent mental ill-health in children is of urgent importance. Data suggest that mental ill-health in children may have increased in recent decades, and structured interventions to address this problem have become increasingly common in municipal services and health services. Interventions often consist of standardised programmes, which are described in manuals and other documents.

This summary describes the scientific evidence for two types of programmes: those intended to prevent externalising behaviour problems (e.g., acting out) in children and adolescents, and those primarily intended to prevent internalising behaviour problems (e.g., anxiety, depression, and self-harm). The programmes are intended to have effects not only directly afterwards, but also in the long term. Programmes aimed at general health promoting effects, e.g., preventing drug abuse and violent acts, are not included.

The report was developed at the request of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the UPP Centre (Development Centre on Mental Health in Children) at the National Board of Health and Welfare. Both organisations called for a systematic literature review to determine the benefits of using programmes to prevent mental ill-health in children.

How to cite this report: SBU. Methods to prevent mental ill-health in children. Stockholm: Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment (SBU); 2010. SBU report no 202 (in Swedish).

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SBU Assessment presents a comprehensive, systematic assessment of available scientific evidence. The certainty of the evidence for each finding is systematically reviewed and graded. Full assessments include economic, social, and ethical impact analyses.

SBU assessments are performed by a team of leading professional practitioners and academics, patient/user representatives and SBU staff. Prior to approval and publication, assessments are reviewed by independent experts, SBU’s Scientific Advisory Committees and Board of Directors.

Published: 5/19/2010
Report no: 202