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The Coping with Unusual Experiences for Children Study (CUES): A pilot randomized controlled evaluation of the acceptability and potential clinical utility of a cognitive behavioural intervention package for young people aged 8-14 years with unusual experiences and emotional symptoms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Suzanne Jolley, Elizabeth Kuipers, Catherine Stewart, Sophie Browning, Karen Bracegirdle, Nedah Basit, Kimberley Gin, Colette Hirsch, Richard Corrigall, Partha Banerjea, Grainne Turley, Daniel Stahl, Kristin R. Laurens

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Clinical Psychology
Early online date12 Mar 2018
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Mar 2018

Documents

  • The Coping with Unusual_JOLLEY_Firstonline12March2018_GREEN AAM

    The_Coping_with_Unusual_JOLLEY_Firstonline12March2018_GREEN_AAM.pdf, 1.06 MB, application/pdf

    12/03/2019

    Accepted author manuscript

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Jolley, S., Kuipers, E., Stewart, C., Browning, S., Bracegirdle, K., Basit, N., Gin, K., Hirsch, C., Corrigall, R., Banerjea, P., Turley, G., Stahl, D., Laurens, K. (in press). The Coping with Unusual Experiences for Children Study (CUES): a pilot randomised controlled evaluation of the acceptability and potential clinical utility of a cognitive behavioural intervention package for young people aged 8 to 14 years with unusual experiences and emotional symptoms. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, which has been published in final form at [https://doi.org/10.1111/bjc.12176].
    This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in
    accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

King's Authors

Abstract

Objectives: Health care guidelines recommend psychological interventions for childhood unusual experiences that are associated with distress or adverse functional impact (UEDs), based on adult, rather than child-specific, evidence. We report the first randomized controlled evaluation of the acceptability and potential clinical utility of cognitive behavioural therapy for childhood UEDs (CBT-UED). Design: Pilot randomized controlled trial. Methods: Participants aged 8-14 years were recruited from referrals to community services for children with emotional/behavioural problems and screened for self-reported UEDs. Results: Of around 1,000 referrals over 36 months, 304 (30%) were identified to the research team, 174 (57%) were successfully contacted, 110 (63%) consented to screening, 96 (87%) attended a screening assessment, and 51 (53%) reported UEDs. Forty-nine (96%) consented to randomization to either CBT-UED (9-12 weekly sessions of 40-50 min, adjunctive to usual care, n = 24) or treatment-as-usual/waitlist control (TAU/WL, n = 25). Childhood internalizing emotional symptoms (e.g., feeling 'nervous'/'scared'/'tearful'/'worried'/'sick'; proposed primary outcome), UEDs, depression, anxiety, and childhood psychopathology (secondary outcomes) were measured at baseline, at 12 weeks, and, where therapy was ongoing but incomplete (<12 sessions) at 12 weeks, at end-of-treatment (EOT). Twenty-two CBT-UED participants (92%) attended ≥5 sessions. Forty-four participants (90%) completed 12-week assessments (CBT-UED, n = 21/24, 88%; TAU/WL, n = 23/25, 92%). Preliminary findings were encouraging for emotional symptoms and UEDs, but otherwise mixed. Conclusions: Retention, screening, and consent rates were as anticipated; recruitment took longer than planned. Trial procedures were acceptable to young people, their families, and clinicians. Therapy exceeded 12 weeks, but was well-received, with no serious adverse events attributed to participation. Further evaluation is needed. Practitioner points: Around half of 8- to 14-year-olds in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services reported distressing unusual experiences. An age-adapted cognitive behavioural intervention appears feasible, and safe to deliver, with the potential to augment standard care. This is a pilot study, and further evaluation is needed. Longer term outcomes should be a focus of future evaluation.

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