Community-based interventions for the treatment of overweight and obese adolescents

This systematic review aims to evaluate recent effective and scalable community-based weight management programs for adolescents (13–17 years) who are overweight or obese | Obesity Reviews

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Adolescent obesity is a risk factor for obesity and other chronic disease in adulthood. Evidence for the effectiveness of community-based obesity treatment programs for adolescents is required to inform policy and clinical decisions.

Eight databases (Medline, Embase, PsycINFO, CINAHL, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Informit, and Scopus) were searched for studies published between January 2011–2 March 2017 which are scalable in a community setting and reported primary outcome measures relating to weight.

Following deduplication, 10,074 records were screened by title/abstract with 31 publications describing 21 programs included in this review. Reduction in adolescent BMIz ranged from 2 to 9% post-program and from 2 to 11% after varied lengths of follow-up. Study quality varied, and findings are limited by the risk of selection and retention bias in the included studies. Factors including the effectiveness and acceptability to the target population must be considered when selecting such community programs.

Full reference: Moores, J. et al. | A systematic review of community-based interventions for the treatment of adolescents with overweight and obesity | Obesity Reviews | 17 January 2018

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New research shows the benefit of bullying interventions in schools

Study explores the long-term social and economic impact of effective bullying interventions implemented in primary schools.

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MQ: Transforming Mental Health have published a report which finds that the implementation of evidence-based school bullying interventions could prevent over 24,000 cases of bullying each year.  This would significantly improve the mental health of thousands of young people, and save the UK economy £348 million per year group. This represents a  return on investment for £146 for every £1 invested in implementing a proven model.

The economic model uses data from the 1958 Birth Cohort on outcomes associated with childhood bullying to estimate the potential short- and long-term benefits of effective anti-bullying interventions in schools.

The report highlights that with such clear evidence pointing to the link between bullying and mental illness, it’s vital that schools receive support from both the government and public funding to rollout evidence-based schemes to tackle it.

Full report: The Economic Case for Prevention in Young People’s Mental Health: Bullying Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU) | London School of Economics and Political Science | MQ: Transforming Mental Health

How alcohol and drug treatment helps to reduce crime

Report re-affirms how important drug treatment is in cutting crime, as well as preventing alcohol and drug-related deaths and helping people recover from dependence. | Ministry of Justice | Public Health England

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In England, almost 300,000 adults get help for drug and alcohol dependency each year. Most people receiving drug treatment are addicted to heroin or crack cocaine, or both, and many commit crimes to fund their addiction.

New analysis published last week by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has added to the evidence of how alcohol and drug treatment can help to prevent crime.

The analysis revealed that:

  • In 2012, nearly 133,000 people started treatment for drugs and alcohol, 35% of which had a criminal conviction recorded against them in the two years previous
  • Overall 44% of people in treatment hadn’t offended again two years after starting treatment
  • The number of recorded offences by people in treatment fell by a third over the two years, from 129,000 to 86,500
  • People who had been in prison before starting treatment, and those who dropped out and came back to treatment, were more likely to reoffend
  • People who successfully completed their treatment, or were still in treatment at the end of the two years, were less likely to reoffend

Full story at Public Health England

Full report: The impact of community-based drug and alcohol treatment on re-offending

Suicide Prevention Planning Guidance – One Year On

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Image source: Public Health England/National Suicide Prevention Alliance.

In this latest Public Health Matters article, Helen Garnham and Gregor Henderson look at the progress made since the publication of Public Health England’s  suicide prevention planning guidance

Along with the National Suicide Prevention Alliance  (NSPA), Public Health England have produced a range of resources to support suicide prevention, and the latest release includes examples of good practice and a series of case studies.

These are supported by a slide pack which professionals can use to make the case and provide guidance on developing suicide prevention activities as well as a range of infographics. 

Full detail via Public Health Matters

Stop smoking services: models of delivery

This document is intended to support directors of public health and local healthcare commissioners with the provision of local stop smoking support.

This briefing is intended to support directors of public health and local healthcare
commissioners in rapidly appraising the evidence, to enable informed decisions around the provision of local stop smoking support. The briefing describes interventions to support smokers to stop and evidence of effectiveness. In addition, it sets out the different models for delivering these interventions currently being considered by local authorities (service models)

Full document: Models of delivery for stop smoking services. Options and evidence

This is part of a group of tools provided by Public Health England to help local decision makers in relation to tobacco control. Other products include:

NICE recommends ‘lifestyle tips’ for 1.7m at risk of type 2 diabetes

People at the highest risk of type 2 diabetes should be given intensive exercise and weight loss help by the NHS, NICE has recommended.

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Healthcare professionals, from GPs to community nurses and pharmacists, should refer people with elevated blood sugars to exercise classes and nutrition courses, NICE has said in updated guidance.  Lifestyle-change programmes, such as NHS England and Public Health England (PHE)’s ‘Healthier You: NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme’, provide personalised help for patients to change their diet and increase their physical activity.

NICE has identified 1.7 million people as having the highest risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and  recommends that GPs should see specific groups of patients for a diabetes risk assessment.

Full guidance: Type 2 diabetes: prevention in people at high risk

New resource to reduce alcohol stigma

New e-learning programme  developed for NHS healthcare professionals to reduce the stigma faced by patients with alcohol problems.

A package of training materials, including facilitator’s notes, are included in a new e-learning programme, which aims to help health professionals to have a better understanding of alcohol dependency and to improve longer-term outcomes for patients.

The resources will be of interest to health and social care staff who come in to contact with patients with alcohol problems in either: hospital, primary care or community settings.

A new film also complements the e-learning package and uses emotional and thought-provoking real stories voiced by patients to highlight the problems they face.

Access the free Alcohol Stigma e-learning programme here.