Identifying Child Anxiety Through Schools-identification to intervention (iCATS-i2i): protocol for single-arm feasibility trial


Background: Anxiety disorders are common among primary-school aged children, but few affected children receive evidence-based treatment. Identifying and supporting children who experience anxiety problems through schools would address substantial treatment access barriers that families and school staff often face. We have worked with families and school staff to co-design procedures that incorporate screening, feedback for parents, and the offer of a brief intervention in primary schools. This study sets out to assess the feasibility of a subsequent school-based cluster randomised controlled trial to evaluate these procedures. Our objectives are to ensure our procedures for identifying and supporting children with anxiety difficulties through primary schools are acceptable and there are no negative impacts, to estimate recruitment and retention rates, and to identify any changes needed to study procedures or measures. Methods: We will recruit six primary/junior schools in England (2 classes per school), and invite all children (aged 8–9) (n = 360) and their parent/carer and class teacher in participating classes to take part. Children, parents and class teachers will complete questionnaires at baseline and 12-week follow-up. Children who ‘screen positive’ on a 2-item parent-report child anxiety screen at baseline will be the target population (expected n = 43). Parents receive feedback on screening questionnaire responses, and where the child screens positive the family is offered support (OSI: Online Support and Intervention for child anxiety). OSI is a brief, parent-led online intervention, supported by short telephone sessions with a Children’s Wellbeing Practitioner. Participants’ experiences of study procedures will be assessed through qualitative interviews/discussion groups. Discussion: Evidence-based procedures for identifying and supporting children with anxiety difficulties through primary schools would improve children’s access to timely, effective intervention for anxiety difficulties. Trial registration: ISRCTN registry: ISRCTN30032471. Retrospectively registered on 18 May 2021.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2022. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data. Funding: This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research (Reference Number: RP-PG-0218-20010). CC was supported by the Oxford and Thames Valley National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration. OU and SB were supported by the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula. AG was partly supported by the NIHR Biomedical Research Centre Oxford. MV was partly supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Oxford Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and receives funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration Oxford and Thames Valley at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Study Protocol,Anxiety,Children,Screening,Schools,Identification,Early intervention,Online intervention,Parent-led intervention
Publication ISSN: 2055-5784
Last Modified: 29 May 2024 16:23
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2022 17:16
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-08-10
Published Online Date: 2022-08-10
Accepted Date: 2022-07-28
Submitted Date: 2021-06-18
Authors: Reardon, Tessa
Ball, Susan
Breen, Maria
Brown, Paul
Day, Emily
Ford, Tamsin
Gray, Alastair
Green, Iheoma
Hill, Claire
Jasper, Bec
King, Thomas
Larkin, Michael (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3304-7000)
Macdonald, Ian
Morgan, Fran
Pollard, Jack
Sancho, Michelle
Sniehotta, Falko F.
Spence, Susan H.
Stallard, Paul
Stainer, Jason
Ukoumunne, Obioha C.
Violato, Mara
Williams, Chloe
Williamson, Victoria
Creswell, Cathy



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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