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How do health visitors identify, manage and refer infant mental health problems?

By Lucy Carmel Murray

Abstract

A range of electronic databases and two journals were subjected to a\ud detailed literature search, focusing on studies evaluating psychological interventions\ud with children aged 0-5 years of age. Outcome studies, utilising experimental design,\ud were included for critical review. The search strategy revealed predominantly\ud attachment-informed intervention studies, prompting a review of this aspect of the\ud literature. A total of twelve studies were identified for closer scrutiny: five with a\ud preventative focus; four describing interventions with clinical populations and three\ud detailing large-scale intervention programmes. This review found evidence that early\ud interventions are effective in altering maternal sensitivity and insecure patterns of\ud attachment. Moreover, interventions were effective in reducing the effects of postnatal depression on attachment security, reducing the incidence of placement\ud breakdown in fostered and adopted children and preventing behaviour difficulties in\ud school-age children. These findings indicate a burgeoning evidence base for\ud attachment-based intervention models for the prevention or treatment of infant or\ud child psychopathology

Topics: infant, preschool, under-five, psychological, attachment, intervention, treatment
Publisher: University of Leicester
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:lra.le.ac.uk:2381/7848

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