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An evaluation of the FRIENDS programme: a cognitive behaviour therapy intervention to promote emotional resilience
  1. P Stallard1,
  2. N Simpson2,
  3. S Anderson3,
  4. T Carter4,
  5. C Osborn5,
  6. S Bush5
  1. 1University of Bath/Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Care Partnership NHS Trust, Department of Child and Family Psychiatry, Royal United Hospital, Bath, UK
  2. 2Community Child Health, Bath and North East Somerset Primary Care Trust, Bath NHS House, Bath, UK
  3. 3Bath and North East Somerset Primary Care Trust, Bath NHS House, Bath, UK
  4. 4Barnardos South West Regional Office, Unit 19, Easton Business Centre, Easton, Bristol, UK
  5. 5University of Bath, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr P Stallard
    Professor of Child and Family Mental Health, University of Bath/Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Care Partnership NHS Trust, Department of Child and Family Psychiatry, Royal United Hospital, Combe Park, Bath BA1 3NG, UK; paul.stallardawp.nhs.uk

Abstract

Aims: To evaluate the efficacy and acceptability of the FRIENDS programme.

Methods: Uncontrolled before and after assessment of the FRIENDS programme, a 10 session cognitive behaviour therapy programme. A total of 213 children aged 9–10 years from six primary schools were studied. Main outcome measures: Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale, Culture Free Self-Esteem Questionnaire, qualitative assessment of acceptability.

Results: End of programme data from 197 children (92.5% of eligible sample) showed significantly lower rates of anxiety (t = 2.95, df = 384) and significantly improved levels of self-esteem (t = 3.13, df = 386). Significant improvements were obtained in over half of those children with the most severe emotional problems. A total of 190 children (89.2%) completed a qualitative assessment of acceptability: 154 (81%) thought it was fun, 147 (77.4%) would recommend it to a friend; 137 (72.8%) thought they had learned new skills, and 78 (41.1%) had helped someone else with their new skills.

Conclusions: The FRIENDS programme appears to be an efficacious and acceptable way to promote emotional resilience (reduced anxiety and increased self-esteem) in primary school aged children, consistent with previous studies in Australia. Further controlled studies are needed to assess natural history of anxiety and self-esteem and whether benefits are maintained over time.

  • cognitive behaviour therapy
  • prevention
  • emotional problems

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: none

  • Published Online First 27 July 2005

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