Research highlight

Surveillance methodology has been widely used in paediatrics (British Paediatric Surveillance Unit, BPSU) and psychiatry (Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Surveillance System, CAPSS) to provide epidemiological data on conditions of interest. This study aimed to investigate the degree to which community paediatricians are involved in the care of children and young people (CYP) with mental health conditions, with implications for the surveillance of these conditions.

The authors concluded that community paediatricians are most involved in the care of children with neurodevelopmental disorders, and that joint BPSU and CAPSS surveillance would be recommended for these disorders. Whilst community paediatricians are also involved in the care of CYP with emotional difficulties, often due to limited access to CAMHS, it was felt that the decision for single or joint surveillance should be made after consideration of all relevant factors. The authors also highlighted the urgent need to expand CAMHS services in order to provide support for CYP with emotional difficulties, who are currently being managed by community paediatricians.

Involvement of community paediatricians in the care of children and young people with mental health difficulties in the UK: implications for case ascertainment by child and adolescent psychiatric, and paediatric surveillance systems

Ayyash HF, Ogundele MO, Lynn RM, et al. Involvement of community paediatricians in the care of children and young people with mental health difficulties in the UK: implications for case ascertainment by child and adolescent psychiatric, and paediatric surveillance systems. BMJ Paediatrics Open 2021;5:e000713. doi: 10.1136/bmjpo-2020-000713

Follow this link to read the full paper.

Research highlight

The bidirectional interplay between physical and mental health is well recognised, and yet the research methodology used to study the impact of childhood chronic illness on mental health outcomes has in the past often been suboptimal. A recently published longitudinal study aimed to remediate this by using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) to explore the relationship between chronic childhood illness and adolescent psychiatric disorders, including possible mediating factors, in children aged between 10 and 15 years.

One of the main study findings was that a high level of health-related school absenteeism was the most consistent predictor of mental health problems in adolescents. While there are multiple possible explanations for this, it nevertheless provides an important and interesting insight into the impact of chronic illness on a child’s life and health outcomes.  

Chronic illness in childhood and early adolescence: a longitudinal exploration of co-occurring mental illness

Brady AM, Deighton J, Stansfeld S. Chronic illness in childhood and early adolescence: A longitudinal exploration of co-occurring mental illness. Dev Psychopathol. 2021 Aug;33(3):885-898. doi: 10.1017/S0954579420000206. PMID: 32362290.

Follow this link to read the full paper.

Research highlight

Secure parent-infant relationships are a crucial factor in ensuring good mental and physical wellbeing throughout life. The Parent-Infant Foundation recently published this report, which includes a summary of qualitative and quantitative research conducted with parents, focusing on the parent-infant relationship.

Here are some of the key research findings, but do follow this link to read the full report (page 25-29 for the parent research).

  • Parents ranked the parent-infant relationship as the third most important influence on child development, below the impact of domestic violence and parental drug use.
  • 50% of parents thought there was not enough support available for developing the parent-infant relationship.
  • The fear of judgement and stigma are barriers to parents seeking support with their parent-infant relationship.

Securing Healthy Lives: An extended summary of research about parent-infant relationship help and support across Cwm Taf Morgannwg

Bateson DK., Sercombe M., Hamilton W. Securing Healthy Lives: An extended summary of research about parent-infant relationship help and support across Cwm Taf Morgannwg. Parent-Infant Foundation. December 2021.

Research highlight

Findings of the CLoCK study were published last week in the Lancet, outlining the physical and mental symptoms experienced by children and young people 3 months after infection with SARS-CoV-2. Researchers compared symptoms at baseline and 3 months between young people who tested positive for COVID versus those who tested negative.

Interestingly, the mental health, wellbeing, and fatigue scores were similar in the two groups. Striking, however, is the high proportion (about 40%) of children and young people who felt worried, sad or unhappy irrespective of whether they had COVID. Perhaps it reflects the fact that they have all been living through the pandemic’s isolation and school closures.  

Physical and mental health 3 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection (long COVID) among adolescents in England (CLoCk): a national matched cohort study

Stephenson T, Pereira SMP, Shafran R, et al. Physical and mental health 3 months after SARS-CoV-2 infection (long COVID) among adolescents in England (CLoCk): a national matched cohort study. Lancet Child Adolesc Health. 2022;0(0). doi:10.1016/S2352-4642(22)00022-0  

Follow this link to read the full paper.

Article About Integrated Care

We would like to draw your attention to this recent research article published in the journal JCPP Advances by the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH).


Integrated care to address child and adolescent health in the 21st century: A clinical review

Mina Fazel et al.

Background

Increasing specialisation and technical sophistication of medical tools across the 21st century have contributed to dramatic improvements in the life-expectancy of children and adolescents with complex physical health problems. Concurrently, there is growing appreciation within the community of the extent that children and adolescents experience mental disorders, which are more prevalent in those with complex chronic, serious or life-limiting health conditions. In this context, there are compelling reasons for paediatric services to move to a model of care that promotes greater integration of child psychiatry within the medical, somatic teams that care for children and adolescents in children’s hospitals.

Aims

In this article, we discuss the range of medical disorders managed by contemporary paediatrics.

Materials and Methods

We conducted a broad review of the literature and existing services, and use individual accounts to illustrate adolescents’ healthcare preferences in the context of the challenges they experience around their mental health.

For the full article click here


JCPP is a new open access journal in the field of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and related disciplines

Call for Trainee Abstracts for PMHA Annual Meeting

The Paediatric Mental Health Association invites trainees in Paediatrics, Psychiatry, General Practice, and Emergency Medicine to submit abstracts for our Annual Winter Meeting

The meeting, taking place virtually on the 27th and 28th January 2022, attracts speakers and delegates from a wide range of specialties to discuss the latest research and updates in Child Mental Health.

This year’s meeting will feature a trainee-led virtual poster session in which trainees can present their audits, research, or quality improvement projects. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your work in the area of child mental health and to share best practice with interested professionals from around the country. Three abstracts will also be selected for oral presentation on Day Two of the meeting (28th January). 

To submit an abstract, please click here to get an abstract template, fill it out, and then submit it by email to PMHAtrainees@gmail.com.

Please submit your abstracts to us by December 13th at the latest.

Your abstract will be reviewed by members of the PMHA Executive Committee and you will be notified of acceptance by the 20th of December.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts and to welcoming you to our meeting in January!

Report: Children, Young People and Families’ Experiences of Chronic Asthma Management and Care

This recent report aims to better understand young people’s experience of managing chronic asthma and how asthma care and management could be improved particularly for groups experiencing exclusion and living in areas of deprivation.  

Click on the above image to see the report, or click here to go to the hosting website.

This report is led by the Young People’s Health Partnership working closely with partners at the Association for Young People’s Health, the Race Equality FoundationFriends, Families and Travellers and RCPCH &Us.

It was written by PMHA member Jeremy Sachs (to visit his personal website click here), who worked to produce it with the Association for Young People’s Health.

Let them play…

Allowing young children to play with their friends must be prioritised as soon as possible when lockdown is eased.

This was the argument made by this really interesting post published recently on the ACAMH Blog.

The article discusses the fact that while the Covid-19 pandemic has posed a lower risk of physical health problems for children, it has transformed the social lives of children more rapidly than anyone could have imagined.

A recent rapid systematic review concluded that loneliness and social isolation adversely affect children’s short- and long-term mental health (Loades, M. E. et al). 

You can read the full post on the blog by clicking here.

Anna Freud Learning Network

The Anna Freud Learning Network is a free national network for professionals, both individuals and organisations, which shares the latest research, resources, and learning opportunities to those working to transform the mental health of children and young people.

To find out more and to join the network, please click on the link below

https://www.annafreud.org/mental-health-professionals/anna-freud-learning-network

BEST PRACTICE Article

BMJ September 2020

Jessica R Turnbull, Michael Farquhar

Fifteen-minute consultation on problems in the healthy child: sleep

ABSTRACT

Sleep-related issues are common reasons children present to health professionals. Many factors can adversely affect sleep quality, and there are many associations of inadequate sleep, including behavioural problems, obesity and accidental injury. We review the current evidence, and suggest practical management strategies to promote better sleep, and hopefully, better functioning for child and family alike.

Click here to read the article