Adaptation and evaluation of IncludeME! portal for young people with chronic physical/mental health issues

  • Research Project Team

    • Stephen Stansfeld
    • Miranda Wolpert
    • Jessica Deighton
    • Elian Fink


  • Background

    About 10% of young adolescents have emotional and behavioural problems associated with functional impairment. If untreated, these problems may affect educational and occupational attainment and increase the future risk of mental ill-health. They can also complicate management of common physical disorders, like diabetes and asthma. Early intervention will improve adult outcomes and enable savings in health, social services and justice system expenses.

    This project will, in collaboration with the ‘Child and Adolescent Health’ theme, enhance a DFE funded national trial of the IncludeME! Portal for young people with emotional and conduct problems in schools and MyPlace Centres. The project team will use qualitative and quantitative methods in a sample with both physical and mental health problems selected from the national sample already recruited to assess IncludeME!’s utility for young people with physical and mental health co-morbidity. They will also address the portal’s cultural acceptability for different ethnic groups.

    After modification the intervention will be piloted in selected east London schools to test its acceptability, feasibility, and perceived usefulness and further modified as necessary. In Year 2 schools, parents and teachers will be engaged to inform them about the intervention in preparation for implementation across the NIHR CLAHRC North Thames area.

    Chronic conditions in adolescence impact upon a young person’s psycho-social health and well-being. The results of this project are anticipated to benefit young people with additional needs by fostering emotional resilience, and providing them with the resources to manage both the physical and emotional challenges associated with a having a chronic illness.

  • Aims

    • Gather feedback on existing What’s-Up portal from young people with chronic health conditions
    • Evaluate the adapted What’s-Up portal in a RCT in secondary schools
    • Evaluate the What’s-Up portal’s impact on primary care and CAMHS use and referral on users’ education and occupational outcomes.
  • Methodology

    This is a mixed methods design comprising a quantitative and qualitative study.

    Qualitative study

    Children have been recruited from hospital schools and youth centres/youth outreach programs to provide feedback on the current What’s-Up portal.

    Quantitative study

    Adapted What’s-Up portal will be rolled out in secondary schools, and pre- and post-intervention data collection will take place assessing; child mental health, school absenteeism, sick leave, educational outcomes, engagement in CAMHS services, use of A&E for primary care.