Increasing access to evidence-based treatment for child anxiety problems:online parent-led CBT for children identified via schools


BACKGROUND: Anxiety problems are extremely common and have an early age of onset. We previously found, in a study in England, that fewer than 3% of children with an anxiety disorder identified in the community had accessed an evidence-based treatment (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; CBT). Key ways to increase access to CBT for primary school-aged children with anxiety problems include (a) proactive identification through screening in schools, (b) supporting parents and (c) the provision of brief, accessible interventions (and capitalising on technology to do this). METHOD: We provided a brief, therapist guided treatment called Online Support and Intervention (OSI) to parents/carers of children identified, through school-based screening, as likely to have anxiety problems. Fifty out of 131 children from 17 Year 4 classes in schools in England screened positive for 'possible anxiety problems' and 42 (84%) of these (and 7 who did not) took up the offer of OSI. We applied quantitative and qualitative approaches to assess children's outcomes and families' experiences of this approach. RESULTS: Inbuilt outcome monitoring indicated session on session improvements throughout the course of treatment, with substantial changes across measures by the final module (e.g. Child Outcome Rating Scale d = 0.84; Goal Based Outcomes d = 1.52). Parent engagement and satisfaction was high as indicated by quantitative and qualitative assessments, and intervention usage. CONCLUSIONS: We provide promising preliminary evidence for the use of OSI as an early intervention for children identified as having anxiety problems through school-based screening.

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: Copyright © 2022, The Authors. Child and Adolescent Mental Health published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Funding Information: This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Programme Grants for Applied Research (Reference Number: RP‐G‐0218‐20010). CC was supported by the Oxford and Thames Valley National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration. OU was supported by the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration South West Peninsula.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Humans,Child,Anxiety Disorders/therapy,Parents/education,Schools,Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,Anxiety/therapy
Publication ISSN: 1475-357X
Last Modified: 15 May 2024 17:28
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2022 10:07
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://acamh.o ... 1111/camh.12612 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2023-02-01
Published Online Date: 2022-12-13
Accepted Date: 2022-10-30
Authors: Green, Iheoma
Reardon, Tessa
Button, Roberta
Williamson, Victoria
Halliday, Gemma
Hill, Claire
Larkin, Michael (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3304-7000)
Sniehotta, Falko F.
Ukoumunne, Obioha C.
Ford, Tamsin
Spence, Susan H.
Stallard, Paul
Creswell, Cathy



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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