Major funding awarded to improve mental health assessments for young people | Research news

Major funding awarded to improve mental health assessments for young people

Major funding awarded to improve mental health assessments for young people

CPFT is part of a new £1.5m study to help children and adolescents receiving care by improving diagnosis of emotional disorders.

Consultant child and Adolescent psychiatrist Dr Anupam Bhardwaj (pictured above) is leading the study for CPFT, working with national lead Professor Kapil Sayal from The Institute of Mental Health. They will be evaluating an assessment tool used by mental health clinicians working with children and adolescents to diagnose emotional disorders like anxiety and depression.

Currently, the NHS has limited information on whether standardised assessment approaches help these children and their parents. By evaluating different approaches to assessment within CAMHS, and publicising the findings, this research will help improve care and inform clinical guidelines. Study results will help the NHS decide how to ensure diagnosis of emotional disorders is effective and value for money.

Dr Bhardwaj said: “Children and young people with emotional difficulties often experience self-harm, poor physical health, family conflict, and problems with schooling, friendships and taking part in wider activities. To stop these issues having a long-lasting impact into adulthood, it’s vital to give children and their families the correct diagnosis, so that appropriate care and interventions can be offered. I will be working closely with the mental health team at CPFT’s Windsor Research Unit and the referrals team for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to review an assessment tool used in routine clinical care, with health professionals.” 

The study will work closely with clinicians and patients across Cambridge and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust’s CAMHS service, as well as with four other NHS Trusts across England, throughout the four year study. Team members include a parent co-applicant and the study will have Parent and Young Person Advisory Group Panels. Other research collaborators include the University of Nottingham’s Clinical Trials Unit who will coordinate the study, and the NIHR MindTech MedTech Co-operative.The STADIA study (STAndardised DIagnostic Assessment for children and adolescents with emotional difficulties) is funded by the National Institute for Health Research. It aims to evaluate whether the DAWBA standardised  assessment tool is clinically effective and good value in diagnosing emotional disorders in children and adolescents (aged 5-17 years), referred to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) with emotional difficulties. 

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