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Health Educ Res. 2008 Oct;23(5):770-90. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

Young people and mental health: novel methods for systematic review of research on barriers and facilitators.

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  • 1Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, 18 Woburn Square, London WC1H ONR, UK. s.oliver@ioe.ac.uk

Abstract

This paper describes how barriers to, and facilitators of, good mental health amongst young people (11-21 years) were elucidated from a systematic review of studies of young people's views and how these barriers and facilitators were compared with effectiveness studies to identify effective and appropriate interventions, promising interventions needing further evaluation and the need for further intervention. All studies were published before 2000. No clear pattern for effectiveness emerged in terms of mental health promotion focus, the type of intervention, intervention provider or young people. Well-evaluated interventions neither always target what we know young people themselves see as important barriers to their mental health (for instance, loss of friends and family, violence and bullying) nor always build on what they see as key facilitators, particularly their preferred coping strategies. In particular, while young people see material and physical resources as major influences on their mental health, few evaluated interventions targeted these. Rigorously evaluated interventions more often addressed priorities not raised by young people themselves and populations at low risk for mental health problems. These innovative review methods can inform intervention development and evaluation in a new way based on the strengths and needs identified by the target population.

PMID:
17984295
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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