How effective are interventions at reducing socioeconomic inequalities in obesity among children and adults? Two systematic reviews

National Institute for Health Research, January 2015

The objective of this study was to systematically review the effectiveness of interventions (individual, community and societal) in reducing socioeconomic inequalities in obesity among (1) children aged 0–18 years (including prenatal) and (2) adults aged ≥18 years, in any setting, in any country, and (3) to establish how such interventions are organised, implemented and delivered through a systematic review of the literature.

Of 56,967 papers of inequalities in obesity in children, 76 studies (85 papers) were included, and of 70,730 papers of inequalities in obesity in adults, 103 studies (103 papers) were included. These studies suggested that interventions that aim to prevent, reduce or manage obesity do not increase inequalities. For children, there was most evidence of effectiveness for targeted school-delivered, environmental and empowerment interventions. For adults, there was most evidence of effectiveness for primary care-delivered tailored weight loss and community-based weight loss interventions, at least in the short term among low-income women. There were few studies of appropriate design that could be included on societal-level interventions, a clear limitation of the evidence base found.

The reviews have found some evidence of interventions with the potential to reduce SES inequalities in obesity and that obesity management interventions do not increase health inequalities. More experimental studies of the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of interventions (particularly at the societal level) to reduce inequalities in obesity, particularly among adolescents and adult men in the UK, are needed.

Click here to read the full text paper.

 

Advertisements

Screening for psychological and mental health difficulties in young people who offend: A systematic review and decision model

National Institute for Health Research, January 2015

Young people who have offended are more likely than people who have not offended to have mental health problems and they are also more likely to offend again. It may, therefore, be important to identify the mental health difficulties in this group and give them help for these problems.
There are, however, a number of unanswered questions about identifying mental health problems in young people who offend. These include:

  • How accurate are the different ways of identifying these difficulties?
  • If a difficulty is identified, how well does any treatment given for this difficulty work?
  • Does identifying mental health problems in this way represent good value for money?

The paper seeks to identify all research that could help to answer these questions. A small number of studies were identified that looked at how accurate different tools were at identifying mental health problems in this group. Most tools had limited accuracy. A small number of studies were also identified that had looked at whether or not treatments work for mental health difficulties in young people who offend. Although there was some encouraging evidence, it remains uncertain if treatments are effective in this group. In general, the search identified few studies and those studies that were identified were often of low quality.

Click here to download the full paper.

What works in preventing and treating poor mental health in looked after children?

NSPCC, October 2014

This report commissioned by the NSPCC aims to provide a review of interventions to prevent and treat mental heath problems in looked after children and under what conditions interventions have the best chance of success.

Click here to view the full report.