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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 611–620 | Cite as

Risk-behaviour screening for identifying adolescents with mental health problems in Europe

  • Michael Kaess
  • Romuald Brunner
  • Peter Parzer
  • Vladimir Carli
  • Alan Apter
  • Judit A. Balazs
  • Julio Bobes
  • Horia G. Coman
  • Doina Cosman
  • Padraig Cotter
  • Tony Durkee
  • Luca Farkas
  • Dana Feldman
  • Christian Haring
  • Miriam Iosue
  • Jean-Pierre Kahn
  • Helen Keeley
  • Tina Podlogar
  • Vita Postuvan
  • Franz Resch
  • Pilar A. Sáiz
  • Merike Sisask
  • Alexandra Tubiana
  • Peeter Värnik
  • Marco Sarchiapone
  • Christina W. Hoven
  • Danuta Wasserman
Original Contribution

Abstract

Indicated prevention of mental illness is an important public health concern among youth. The aim of this study was to establish a European school-based professional screening among adolescents, which included variables on both a broad range of risk-behaviours and psychopathology; and to investigate the indicative value of adolescent risk-behaviour and self-reported psychopathology on help-seeking and psychological problems that required subsequent mental healthcare. A two-stage professional screening approach was developed and performed within the multi-centre study “Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe” (SEYLE). The first stage of screening comprised a self-report questionnaire on a representative sample of 3,070 adolescents from 11 European countries. In the second stage, students deemed at-risk for mental health problems were evaluated using a semi-structured clinical interview performed by healthcare professionals. 61 % of participants (n = 1,865) were identified as being at-risk in stage one. In stage two, 384 participants (12.5 % of the original sample) were found to require subsequent mental healthcare during semi-structured, clinical assessment. Among those, 18.5 % of pupils were identified due to screening for psychopathology alone; 29.4 % due to screening for risk-behaviours alone; and 52.1 % by a combination of both. Young age and peer victimization increased help-seeking, while very low body mass index, depression, suicidal behaviour and substance abuse were the best predictors of referral to mental healthcare. Screening of risk-behaviours significantly increased the number of detected students requiring subsequent mental healthcare. Screening of risk-behaviours added significant value in identifying the significant amount of European pupils with mental health problems. Therefore, attention to adolescent risk-behaviours in addition to psychopathology is critical in facilitating prevention and early intervention. Identifying factors that increase compliance to clinical interviews are crucial in improving screening procedures.

Keywords

SEYLE Adolescence Psychopathology Risk-behaviour Mental health Self-injury Depression Substance abuse Peer victimization Screening Help-seeking Health-care 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The SEYLE project is supported by the European Union through the Seventh Framework Program (FP7), Grant agreement number HEALTH-F2-2009-223091. SEYLE Project Leader and Principal Investigator is Professor in Psychiatry and Suicidology Danuta Wasserman, National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP) at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Stockholm, Sweden. The Executive Committee comprises Professor Danuta Wasserman and Senior Lecturer Vladimir Carli, both from NASP, KI, Sweden; Professor Marco Sarchiapone from the University of Molise, Italy; Professor Christina W. Hoven, and Anthropologist Camilla Wasserman, both from the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, US; the SEYLE Consortium comprises sites in twelve European countries. Site leaders are Danuta Wasserman (NASP, Coordinating Centre), Christian Haring (Austria), Airi Varnik (Estonia), Jean-Pierre Kahn (France), Romuald Brunner (Germany), Judit Balazs (Hungary), Paul Corcoran (Ireland), Alan Apter (Israel), Marco Sarchiapone (Italy), Doina Cosman (Romania), Vita Postuvan (Slovenia) and Julio Bobes (Spain). Special thanks regarding this manuscript go to Katja Klug, Gloria Fischer and Lisa Göbelbecker from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, for their extensive help in the development and evaluation of the professional screening procedure during the SEYLE study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical standards

The study has been approved by the appropriate ethics committee of each study centre and has therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments.

Supplementary material

787_2013_490_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Kaess
    • 1
  • Romuald Brunner
    • 1
  • Peter Parzer
    • 1
  • Vladimir Carli
    • 2
  • Alan Apter
    • 3
  • Judit A. Balazs
    • 4
    • 5
  • Julio Bobes
    • 6
  • Horia G. Coman
    • 7
  • Doina Cosman
    • 7
  • Padraig Cotter
    • 8
  • Tony Durkee
    • 2
  • Luca Farkas
    • 4
  • Dana Feldman
    • 3
  • Christian Haring
    • 9
  • Miriam Iosue
    • 10
  • Jean-Pierre Kahn
    • 11
  • Helen Keeley
    • 8
  • Tina Podlogar
    • 12
  • Vita Postuvan
    • 12
  • Franz Resch
    • 1
  • Pilar A. Sáiz
    • 6
  • Merike Sisask
    • 13
  • Alexandra Tubiana
    • 11
  • Peeter Värnik
    • 13
  • Marco Sarchiapone
    • 11
  • Christina W. Hoven
    • 14
    • 15
  • Danuta Wasserman
    • 2
  1. 1.Clinic of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Centre of Psychosocial MedicineUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP), Karolinska InstituteStockholmSweden
  3. 3.Feinberg Child Study Centre, Schneider Children’s Medical CentreTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael
  4. 4.Vadaskert Child and Adolescent Psychiatric HospitalBudapestHungary
  5. 5.Institute of PsychologyEotvos Lorand UniversityBudapestHungary
  6. 6.Department of Psychiatry, School of MedicineUniversity of OviedoOviedoSpain
  7. 7.Clinical Psychology DepartmentIuliu Hatieganu University of Medicine and PharmacyCluj-NapocaRomania
  8. 8.National Suicide Research FoundationCorkIreland
  9. 9.Research Division for Mental HealthUniversity for Medical Information Technology (UMIT)Hall in TirolAustria
  10. 10.Department of Health SciencesUniversity of MoliseCampobassoItaly
  11. 11.Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology, Centre Hospitalo-Universitaire (CHU) de NANCYUniversité H. PoincaréNancyFrance
  12. 12.Mental Health Department, PINTUniversity of PrimorskaPrimorskaSlovenia
  13. 13.Estonian-Swedish Mental Health and Suicidology Institute, Est Ctr Behav & Hlth SciTallinn UniversityTallinnEstonia
  14. 14.Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric InstituteColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  15. 15.Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public HealthColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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