School-based cognitive behavioural intervention programme for addressing anxiety in 10- to 11-year-olds using short classroom activities in Japan: a quasi-experimental study

Yuko Urao, Michiko Yoshida, Yasunori Sato, Eiji Shimizu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Although several school-based cognitive behavioural intervention programmes have been developed in Japan to prevent and improve children’s anxiety disorders, the substantial time required for their completion remains a problem. Methods: A brief version of the cognitive behavioural programme called ‘Journey of the Brave’, developed for Japanese children was conducted among 90 children aged 10‒11 years using 20-min short classroom activities, and its effectiveness was examined. The children were divided into two groups: the intervention (n = 31) and control groups (n = 59). The control group did not attend any programme sessions and followed regular school curriculum. We conducted 14 weekly programme sessions and assessed children at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 2-month follow-up (6 months after the beginning). The primary and secondary outcome measures were the Spence Children’s Anxiety Scale (SCAS) to assess children’s anxiety symptoms and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) to measure behaviour problems, respectively. Results: A statistically significant reduction in the SCAS score in the intervention group was found at 2-month follow-up compared with the control group. A significant reduction was also observed in the SDQ score. Conclusions: Our findings suggested that the ‘Journey of the Brave’ programme, which requires only 5 h of short classroom activities, demonstrates promising results compared with previous programmes. A larger randomised control trial would be desirable. Trial registration: UMIN, UMIN000009021, Registered 10 March 2012.

Original languageEnglish
Article number658
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Cognitive behavioural intervention
  • Prevention
  • School-based

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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