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Global Health Conference Midwest

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Implications of anxiety symptomatology experienced among children and adolescents in the US constitute a major public health crisis, calling for promising universal mental health interventions in K-12 schools. Schools represent an ideal setting for the implementation of population based, public health interventions, as children and adolescents spend a significant proportion of time in school. Discussions within the scientific community document several advantages to utilization of universal, Tier1 interventions. However, the efficacy of universal, school-based anxiety interventions in the US are not consistently documented. The purpose of this study is to systematically review the literature to identify the efficacy of universal teacher-led school-based anxiety interventions in the US. A comprehensive literature search was conducted employing PubMed, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), Scopus, PsycINFO, Education Resources Information Center (ERIC), and Google Scholar databases up to December 2016. Each of the articles was independently reviewed for relevance and inclusionary criteria, with five studies meeting these criteria. Overall, the quality of the included studies was moderate. All reviewed studies found that universal teacher-led anxiety interventions in school-based programs had a positive impact on the anxiety outcomes of students when compared to control groups. However, several methodological and design concerns were identified across studies. While our findings suggest that universal teacher-led anxiety interventions have the potential to reduce anxiety symptomatology among school-aged children in the US, further research is needed.


Psychology | Public Health

A systematic review of universal, teacher-led interventions targeting anxiety in U.S. schools