School-based screening for childhood anxiety problems and intervention delivery: a codesign approach

Victoria Williamson, Michael Larkin, Tessa Reardon, Samantha Pearcey, Roberta Button, Iheoma Green, Claire Hill, Paul Stallard, Susan H. Spence, Maria Breen, Ian Mcdonald, Obioha Ukoumunne, Tamsin Ford, Mara Violato, Falko Sniehotta, Jason Stainer, Alastair Gray, Paul Brown, Michelle Sancho, Fran MorganBec Jasper, Cathy Creswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (SciVal)


Objectives A very small proportion of children with anxiety problems receive evidence-based treatment. Barriers to access include difficulties with problem identification, concerns about stigma and a lack of clarity about how to access specialist services and their limited availability. A school-based programme that integrates screening to identify those children who are most likely to be experiencing anxiety problems with the offer of intervention has the potential to overcome many of these barriers. This article is a process-based account of how we used codesign to develop a primary school-based screening and intervention programme for child anxiety problems. Design Codesign. Setting UK primary schools. Participants Data were collected from year 4 children (aged 8-9 years), parents, school staff and mental health practitioners. Results We report how the developed programme was experienced and perceived by a range of users, including parents, children, school staff and mental health practitioners, as well as how the programme was adapted following user feedback. Conclusions We reflect on the mitigation techniques we employed, the lessons learnt from the codesign process and give recommendations that may inform the development and implementation of future school-based screening and intervention programmes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere058089
Pages (from-to)e058089
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number6
Early online date21 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2022


  • education & training (see Medical Education & Training)
  • mental health
  • paediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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