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BMJ open ; 12(9), 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2011160


Introduction Some people are so anxious about COVID-19 that it impairs their functioning. However, little is known about the course of severe COVID-19 anxiety or what can be done to help people who experience it. Methods and analysis Cohort study with a nested feasibility trial with follow-up at 3 and 6 months. We recruited 306 people who were aged 18 and over, lived in the UK and had severe COVID-19 anxiety (indicated by a score of 9 or more on the Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS)). To take part in the nested feasibility trial, participants also had to have a score of 20 or more on the Short Health Anxiety Inventory. We excluded people from the trial if they had had COVID-19 within the previous 4 weeks, if they were currently self-isolating or if they were already receiving psychological treatment. We publicised the study nationally through adverts, social media and posts on message boards. We also recruited participants via clinicians working in primary and secondary care NHS services in London. All those in the active arm will be offered 5–10 sessions of remotely delivered modified cognitive–behavioural therapy for health anxiety (CBT-HA). We will examine the proportion of participants who remain above threshold on the CAS at 3 and 6 months and factors that influence levels of COVID-19 anxiety over 6 months using mixed effects logistic regression. The key feasibility metrics for the nested trial are the level of uptake of CBT-HA and the rate of follow-up. Ethics and dissemination Approved by Leicester Central Research Ethics Committee (reference: 20/EM/0238). The results of the study will be published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Trial registration number ISRCTN14973494.

BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1887, 2021 10 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1477405


BACKGROUND: Up to 20% of UK children experience socio-emotional difficulties which can have serious implications for themselves, their families and society. Stark socioeconomic and ethnic inequalities in children's well-being exist. Supporting parents to develop effective parenting skills is an important preventive strategy in reducing inequalities. Parenting interventions have been developed, which aim to reduce the severity and impact of these difficulties. However, most parenting interventions in the UK focus on early childhood (0-10 years) and often fail to engage families from ethnic minority groups and those living in poverty. Strengthening Families, Strengthening Communities (SFSC) is a parenting programme designed by the Race Equality Foundation, which aims to address this gap. Evidence from preliminary studies is encouraging, but no randomised controlled trials have been undertaken so far. METHODS/DESIGN: The TOGETHER study is a multi-centre, waiting list controlled, randomised trial, which aims to test the effectiveness of SFSC in families with children aged 3-18 across seven urban areas in England with ethnically and socially diverse populations. The primary outcome is parental mental well-being (assessed by the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-Being Scale). Secondary outcomes include child socio-emotional well-being, parenting practices, family relationships, self-efficacy, quality of life, and community engagement. Outcomes are assessed at baseline, post intervention, three- and six-months post intervention. Cost effectiveness will be estimated using a cost-utility analysis and cost-consequences analysis. The study is conducted in two stages. Stage 1 comprised a 6-month internal pilot to determine the feasibility of the trial. A set of progression criteria were developed to determine whether the stage 2 main trial should proceed. An embedded process evaluation will assess the fidelity and acceptability of the intervention. DISCUSSION: In this paper we provide details of the study protocol for this trial. We also describe challenges to implementing the protocol and how these were addressed. Once completed, if beneficial effects on both parental and child outcomes are found, the impact, both immediate and longer term, are potentially significant. As the intervention focuses on supporting families living in poverty and those from minority ethnic communities, the intervention should also ultimately have a beneficial impact on reducing health inequalities. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Prospectively registered Randomised Controlled Trial ISRCTN15194500 .

Parenting , Quality of Life , Child, Preschool , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Humans , Minority Groups , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Parents , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
Lancet ; 397(10288): 1979-1991, 2021 05 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1219658


The demographics of the UK population are changing and so is the need for health care. In this Health Policy, we explore the current health of the population, the changing health needs, and future threats to health. Relative to other high-income countries, the UK is lagging on many health outcomes, such as life expectancy and infant mortality, and there is a growing burden of mental illness. Successes exist, such as the striking improvements in oral health, but inequalities in health persist as well. The growth of the ageing population relative to the working-age population, the rise of multimorbidity, and persistent health inequalities, particularly for preventable illness, are all issues that the National Health Service (NHS) will face in the years to come. Meeting the challenges of the future will require an increased focus on health promotion and disease prevention, involving a more concerted effort to understand and tackle the multiple social, environmental, and economic factors that lie at the heart of health inequalities. The immediate priority of the NHS will be to mitigate the wider and long-term health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it must also strengthen its resilience to reduce the impact of other threats to health, such as the UK leaving the EU, climate change, and antimicrobial resistance.

Delivery of Health Care/trends , Demography/trends , State Medicine/organization & administration , Aging , COVID-19 , Cost of Illness , Healthcare Disparities/trends , Humans , Life Expectancy , Maternal-Child Health Services , Mental Health , Multimorbidity/trends , Oral Health/trends , State Medicine/trends , United Kingdom/epidemiology