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A prospective cohort study of the changing mental health needs of adolescents in custody

Lennox, Charlotte, Bell, Vicky, O'Malley, Kate, Shaw, Jenny and Dolan, Mairead 2013, A prospective cohort study of the changing mental health needs of adolescents in custody, BMJ Open, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002358.

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Title A prospective cohort study of the changing mental health needs of adolescents in custody
Author(s) Lennox, Charlotte
Bell, Vicky
O'Malley, Kate
Shaw, Jenny
Dolan, Mairead
Journal name BMJ Open
Volume number 3
Issue number 3
Article ID e002358
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2013-01
ISSN 2044-6055
Keyword(s) science & technology
life sciences & biomedicine
medicine, general & internal
general & internal medicine
Summary OBJECTIVE: To investigate changes in mental health and other needs, as well as clinical and diagnostic 'caseness', in a sample of adolescents over a 6-month period following entry into a Young Offenders Institution in the UK.

DESIGN: Prospective cohort study.

SETTING: One Young Offenders Institution between November 2006 and August 2009.

PARTICIPANTS: 219 male adolescents aged 15-18 years (M=16.56; SD=0.6) were assessed at baseline (median=4; range 0-26 days following reception into custody) on the Salford Needs Assessment Schedule for Adolescents (SNASA) and Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (K-SADS). Participants were then reassessed at 3-month and 6-month postbaseline to document any change in mental health.

RESULTS: Of the initial baseline sample, 132 were still in the study at 3-month postbaseline and 63 were still available for assessment at 6 months. There were no differences between those who were not available for assessment at the three key stages in terms of demographic and criminological data. Over time there was a general improvement in mental health. While the proportion of participants with a mental health need (SNASA) did not change over time, symptom severity as measured by the SNASA did reduce significantly. When we assessed diagnostic 'caseness' using the K-SADS, three young people showed significant mental health deterioration.

CONCLUSIONS: In line with previous studies, we found that symptoms in prison generally improved over time. Prison may provide an opportunity for young people previously leading chaotic lifestyles to settle into a stable routine and engage with services; however, it is unclear if these would be maintained either within the prison or on release into the community.
Language eng
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-002358
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2013, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30110419

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.