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1.  Effectiveness of school-based preventive interventions on adolescent alcohol use: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials 
Preventive interventions for adolescents are an important priority within school systems. Several interventions have been developed, but the effectiveness of such interventions varies considerably between studies. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of universal school-based prevention programs on alcohol use among adolescents by using meta-analytic techniques.
A systematic literature search in the databases, PubMed (Medline), PsycINFO (Ovid), EMBASE (Ovid) and WEB of Science (ISI) was conducted to search for empirical articles published in the period January 1990 to August 2014.
In total, 28 randomized controlled studies with 39,289 participants at baseline were included. Of these 28 articles, 12 studies (N = 16279) reported continuous outcomes (frequency of alcohol use and quantity of alcohol use), and 16 studies (N = 23010) reported categorical data (proportion of students who drank alcohol). The results of the random effects analyses showed that the overall effect size among studies reporting continuous outcomes was small and demonstrated a favorable effect from the preventive interventions (Hedges’ = 0.22, p < .01). The effect size among studies reporting categorical outcomes was not significant ( = 0.94, p = .25). The level of heterogeneity between studies was found to be significant in most analyses. Moderator analyses conducted to explore the heterogeneity showed neither significant difference between the different school levels (junior high schools and high schools), nor between the varied program intensities (low, medium and high intensity programs). The meta-regression analyses examining continuous moderators showed no significant effects for age or gender.
The findings from this meta-analysis showed that, overall, the effects of school-based preventive alcohol interventions on adolescent alcohol use were small but positive among studies reporting the continuous measures, whereas no effect was found among studies reporting the categorical outcomes. Possible population health outcomes, with recommendations for policy and practice, are discussed further in this paper.
PMCID: PMC4274678  PMID: 25495012
Alcohol prevention; Alcohol drinking; Adolescents; Meta-analysis
3.  Implementing new routines in adult mental health care to identify and support children of mentally ill parents 
Mental health problems are often transmitted from one generation to the next. This knowledge has led to changes in Norwegian legislation, making it mandatory to assess whether or not patients have children, and to provide necessary support for the children of mentally ill patients. The main purpose of this study was to evaluate the process of implementing new routines in adult mental health services to identify and support children of mentally ill parents.
The design was a pre-test post-test study. The sample (N = 219 at pre-test and N = 185 at post-test) included mental health professionals in the largest hospital in the region, who responded to a web-based survey on the routines of the services, attitudes within the workforce capacity, worker’s knowledge on the impact of parental mental illness on children, knowledge on legislation concerning children of patients, and demographic variables.
The results of this study indicated that some changes are taking place in clinical practice in terms of increased identification of children. Adult mental health services providing support for the children was however not fully implemented as a new practice.
The main finding in this study is that the identification frequency had increased significantly according to self-reported data since the Family Assessment Form was implemented. The increase in self-reported identification behavior is however taking place very slowly. Three years after the legislation was changed to making it mandatory to assess whether or not patients have children, it was still not fully incorporated in the routines of the entire workforce. In terms of support for the families affected by parental mental illness, the changes are not yet significant.
PMCID: PMC4015279  PMID: 24507566
Implementation; Changed clinical practice; Children of mentally ill; Parental mental health
4.  IQ as a moderator of outcome in severity of children’s mental health status after treatment in outpatient clinics 
Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for mental health disorders, but even with the most efficacious treatment, many patients do not experience improvement. Moderator analysis can identify the conditions under which treatment is effective or whether there are factors that can attenuate the effects of treatment.
In this study, linear mixed model analysis was used to examine whether the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ), Performance IQ (PIQ) and Verbal IQ (VIQ) on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Third Edition, moderated outcomes in general functioning and symptom load. A total of 132 patients treated at three outpatient child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) were assessed at three different time points. The Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) and the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA) were used to measure the severity of impairments in general functioning and symptom load. IQ was assessed at the start of treatment.
Moderator analysis revealed that the FSIQ × time interaction predicted changes in CGAS scores (p < .01), and that the PIQ × time interaction predicted changes in HoNOSCA scores (p < .05). The slopes and intercepts in HoNOSCA scores covaried negatively and significantly (p < .05). The same pattern was not detected for the CGAS scores (p = .08).
FISQ and PIQ moderated change in general functioning and symptom load, respectively. This implies that patients with higher IQ scores had a steeper improvement slope than those with lower scores. The patients with the highest initial symptom loads showed the greatest improvement, this pattern was not found in the improvement of general functioning.
PMCID: PMC3464132  PMID: 22676055
5.  Agreement on Web-based Diagnoses and Severity of Mental Health Problems in Norwegian Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services 
This study examined the agreement between diagnoses and severity ratings assigned by clinicians using a structured web-based interview within a child and adolescent mental health outpatient setting.
Information on 100 youths was obtained from multiple informants through a web-based Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). Based on this information, four experienced clinicians independently diagnosed (according to the International Classification of Diseases Revision 10) and rated the severity of mental health problems according to the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA) and the Children’s Global Assessment Scale (C-GAS).
Agreement for diagnosis was κ=0.69-0.82. Intra-class correlation for single measures was 0.78 for HoNOSCA and 0.74 for C-GAS, and 0.93 and 0.92, respectively for average measures.
Agreement was good to excellent for all diagnostic categories. Agreement for severity was moderate, but improved to substantial when the average of the ratings given by all clinicians was considered. Therefore, we conclude that experienced clinicians can assign reliable diagnoses and assess severity based on DAWBA data collected online.
PMCID: PMC3343321  PMID: 22582083
Web-based; telepsychiatry; DAWBA; HoNOSCA; C-GAS.
6.  The strengths and difficulties questionnaire as a screening instrument for norwegian child and adolescent mental health services, application of UK scoring algorithms 
The use of screening instruments can reduce waiting lists and increase treatment capacity. The aim of this study was to examine the usefulness of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) with the original UK scoring algorithms, when used as a screening instrument to detect mental health disorders among patients in the Norwegian Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) North Study.
A total of 286 outpatients, aged 5 to 18 years, from the CAMHS North Study were assigned diagnoses based on a Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA). The main diagnostic groups (emotional, hyperactivity, conduct and other disorders) were then compared to the SDQ scoring algorithms using two dichotomisation levels: 'possible' and 'probable' levels. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and diagnostic odds ratio (ORD) were calculated.
Sensitivity for the diagnostic categories included was 0.47-0.85 ('probable' dichotomisation level) and 0.81-1.00 ('possible' dichotomisation level). Specificity was 0.52-0.87 ('probable' level) and 0.24-0.58 ('possible' level). The discriminative ability, as measured by ORD, was in the interval for potentially useful tests for hyperactivity disorders and conduct disorders when dichotomised on the 'possible' level.
The usefulness of the SDQ UK-based scoring algorithms in detecting mental health disorders among patients in the CAMHS North Study is only partly supported in the present study. They seem best suited to identify children and adolescents who do not require further psychiatric evaluation, although this as well is problematic from a clinical point of view.
PMCID: PMC3207884  PMID: 21992589

Results 1-6 (6)