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Universal Anxiety Interventions in United States Schools: A Systematic Review

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Objective: We reviewed studies pertaining to randomized controlled universal/Tier 1, teacher-led intervention trials in United States (US) schools, and their impact on anxiety in K-12 students. Methods: We searched 7 databases and one search engine. Anxiety was the main outcome measure. Studies published through July 5, 2018 were appraised using the Cochrane Collaborations tool. Results: We included 4 studies, all indicating efficacy for lowering anxiety symptoms. Internal bias was unclear for 3. Conclusion: Despite a call from the National Institute of Mental Health for population-based, upstream public health interventions, empirical evidence is scarce. Findings from this review are reflected by the absence of such studies from the Healthy People 2020 recommendations for evidence-based resources consumer page. There appears to be a need for development and testing of universal teacher-led anxiety interventions in US schools.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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