Anna Freud’s online research library contains a collection of evidence-based material on children and young people’s mental health, written and co-written by our team. The research explores factors relating to: 

anxiety | behavioural difficulties | depression | digital mental health | empowering young people and families | early years | evaluation | fostering and adoption | intervention | maltreatment and abuse | measures | mentalization | methodology | neurodiversity | parents and carers| prevalence and trends | prevention | psychological therapies | resources | risk and resilience | social care | trauma | wellbeing

The library is managed by our team of evidence experts. It is updated on a regular basis and currently consists of research published between 2018 and 2023. 

Please be aware that links to our open-access papers lead to external sites and that the management, data handling and administration of these external sites is not Anna Freud’s responsibility. 


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  • Perspectives of paediatric hospital staff on factors influencing the sustainability and spread of a safety quality improvement programme

    Situation Awareness For Everyone (SAFE) is a quality improvement programme aiming to improve situation awareness in paediatric clinical teams. The aim of our study was to examine hospital staff perceptions of the facilitators and barriers/challenges to the sustaining and subsequent spread of the huddle, the key intervention of the SAFE programme.

    Authors: Lachman, P., Gondek D, Edbrooke-Childs J., Deighton, J. & Stapley, E. (2021).

    Download the open access paper

  • “Smartphone apps are cool, but do they help me?”: a qualitative interview study of adolescents’ perspectives on using smartphone interventions to manage nonsuicidal self-injury

    Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a major mental health problem associated with negative psychosocial outcomes and it most often starts in early adolescence. This study aimed to (1) assess adolescents’ needs and preferences about future interventions that are delivered through smartphones and (2) develop a framework with implications for designing engaging digital mental health interventions.

    Authors: Čuš, A., Edbrooke-Childs, J., Ohmann, S., Plener, P. L., & Akkaya-Kalayci, T. (2021).

    Download the open access paper

  • Feasibility and acceptability of a digital intervention to support shared decision-making in children’s and young people’s mental health: mixed methods pilot randomised controlled trial

  • Self-management, self-care, and self-help in adolescents with emotional problems: a scoping review protocol

    The objective of this scoping review is to clarify the ways in which the concepts of self-management, self-care, and self-help are defined in the literature in the context of adolescents with emotional problems, as well as to identify the strategies or techniques that have been proposed to facilitate self-management, self-care, and self-help for this group.

    Authors: Town, R., Hayes, D., Fonagy, P., Stapley, E. (2021).

    Download the open access paper

  • Essentials of ideal-type analysis: a qualitative approach to constructing typologies

    Essentials of ideal-type analysis is the perfect guide for qualitative researchers who want to explore individual cases in depth, but also understand patterns across multiple study participants. Ideal-type analysis is a method for forming typologies from qualitative data.

    Authors: Stapley, E., O'Keefe, S., & Midgley, N. (2021).

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  • An affective-appraisal approach for parental shared decision making in Children and young people's mental health settings: a qualitative study.

    The majority of existing shared decision making (SDM) models are yet to explicitly account for emotion as an influencing factor to the SDM process. This study aimed to explore the role of parents' and carers' emotional experiences as a concept that has implications for SDM in children and young people's mental health (CYPMH) settings.

    Authors: Liverpool, S., & Edbrooke-Childs, J. (2021).

    Download the open access paper

  • Behavior change techniques in mobile apps targeting self-harm in young people: a systematic review

    This study provides the first analysis of BCTs present in mental health apps which are designed to target the reduction of self-harm in young people. 

    Authors: Panagiotopoulou, E., Peiris, C., Hayes, D. (2021).

    Read the abstract

  • Counselling for young people and families affected by child sexual exploitation and abuse: a qualitative investigation of the perspective of young people, parents, and professionals

    The aim of this study was to explore the experience of counselling for young people and parents affected by child sexual exploitation and abuse, with a view to examining what facilitates progress, from the perspective of young people, parents and professionals.

    Authors: Farr, J., Edbrooke-Childs, J., Town, R., Pietkiewicz, D., Young, I., & Stapley, E. (2021).

    Read the abstract

  • Measuring health outcomes in HIV: time to bring in the patient experience

    There is a pressing need to review how a 'good' health outcome is defined and measured in light of care systems moving towards value-based frameworks that measure value in terms of the actual health outcomes achieved (rather than processes of care), global response shifting to providing long-term care for people living with HIV in the community, and integrating HIV as part of universal health coverage plans. 

    Authors: O'Brien, N., Chi, Y., & Krause, K. R. (2021).

    Download the open access paper

  • International consensus on a standard set of outcome measures for child and youth anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder

    This Position Paper reports on recommendations specifically for anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder in children and young people aged between 6 and 24 years. 

    Authors: Krause, K., Chung, S., Adewuya, A. O., Wolpert, M. (2021).

    Download the open access paper

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