Developing the universal unified prevention program for diverse disorders for school-aged children

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Background: Psychological problems during childhood and adolescence are highly prevalent, frequently comorbid, and incur severe social burden. A school-based universal prevention approach is one avenue to address these issues. Objective: The first aim of this study was the development of a novel, transdiagnostic cognitive-behavioral universal prevention program: The Universal Unified Prevention Program for Diverse Disorders (Up2-D2). The second aim of this study was to examine the acceptability and fidelity of the Up2-D2. Methods: Classroom teachers who attended a 1-day workshop implemented the Up2-D2 independently as a part of their regular curricula. To assess the acceptability of the Up2-D2, 213 children (111 boys and 102 girls) aged 9-12 years completed questionnaires about their enjoyment, comprehension, attainment, applicability, and self-efficacy after completing Lessons 1-12. For fidelity, research assistants independently evaluated audio files that were randomly selected and assigned (27.3%). Results: Our preliminary evaluation revealed the program was highly enjoyable, clear, and applicable for students. In addition, self-efficacy demonstrated a trend of gradually increasing over the 12 sessions. The total fidelity observed in the two schools was sufficient (76.2%), given the length of the teacher training. Conclusions: The results of this study supported the theory that the Up2-D2 could be feasible in real-world school settings when classroom teachers implement the program. We discussed current research and practical issues of using universal prevention to address mental health problems in school, based on implementation science for user-centered design.




Ishikawa, S. I., Kishida, K., Oka, T., Saito, A., Shimotsu, S., Watanabe, N., … Kamio, Y. (2019). Developing the universal unified prevention program for diverse disorders for school-aged children. Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, 13(1).

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