Repository logo

School-based screening for childhood anxiety problems and intervention delivery: a codesign approach.

Published version

Change log


Williamson, Victoria  ORCID logo
Larkin, Michael 
Reardon, Tessa 
Pearcey, Samantha 
Button, Roberta 


OBJECTIVES: A very small proportion of children with anxiety problems receive evidence-based treatment. Barriers to access include difficulties with problem identification, concerns about stigma and a lack of clarity about how to access specialist services and their limited availability. A school-based programme that integrates screening to identify those children who are most likely to be experiencing anxiety problems with the offer of intervention has the potential to overcome many of these barriers. This article is a process-based account of how we used codesign to develop a primary school-based screening and intervention programme for child anxiety problems. DESIGN: Codesign. SETTING: UK primary schools. PARTICIPANTS: Data were collected from year 4 children (aged 8-9 years), parents, school staff and mental health practitioners. RESULTS: We report how the developed programme was experienced and perceived by a range of users, including parents, children, school staff and mental health practitioners, as well as how the programme was adapted following user feedback. CONCLUSIONS: We reflect on the mitigation techniques we employed, the lessons learnt from the codesign process and give recommendations that may inform the development and implementation of future school-based screening and intervention programmes.



education & training (see Medical Education & Training), mental health, paediatrics, Anxiety, Behavior Therapy, Child, Child Behavior Disorders, Humans, Parents, Schools

Journal Title

BMJ Open

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) (No number)
Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust (No number)
Oxford Biomedical Research (No number)
National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) (No number)
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust (No number)