Skip to main content

Preventing concurrent mental disorders in children

Resource type
Date created
Background: Approximately 26.5 percent of children that satisfy diagnostic criteria for one mental disorder, meet criteria for two or more. Given the frequency of co-occurring disorders, researchers have begun developing prevention programs that aim to avert them. To determine how well these interventions work, we conducted a systematic review.
Methods: We used systematic review methods to identified randomized controlled trials (RCTs) evaluating universal and targeted prevention interventions, commonly known as known as transdiagnostic prevention programs. After applying our rigorous inclusion criteria, a total of eight RCTs were selected, with six evaluating to universal programs, and two evaluating targeted interventions.
Results: The effects of the universal prevention programs were relatively mixed. Among the five interventions evaluated in six RCTs, with only two showeding significant benefit in reducing a wide range of symptoms. The two targeted interventions had more consistent positive outcomes, including reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms.
Conclusions: The available research indicates transdiagnostic preventions can reduce the symptoms of multiple disorders among children ranging in age from six to 16. Wider spread implementation of these programs may help avert the unnecessary suffering of considerably more children.
Publication title
Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly
Document title
Preventing concurrent mental disorders in children
Children’s Health Policy Centre, Simon Fraser University
First page
Last page
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
Scholarly level
Download file Size
RQ-17-02-Spring.pdf 1.56 MB

Views & downloads - as of June 2023

Views: 30
Downloads: 1