Introduction Paediatric anxiety disorders (AD) are prevalent and persistent mental health conditions worldwide affecting between 10% and 20% of children and adolescents. Despite the high prevalence of paediatric AD, there is limited understanding of which treatments work best. Outcome heterogeneity across paediatric mental health trials has been a significant factor in hindering the ability to compare results and assess the efficacy of such trials. This scoping review will help to identify and synthesise the outcomes reported in paediatric AD trials to date.
Methods and analysis Following the Joanna Briggs Institute scoping review methodology, a comprehensive electronic bibliographic database search (MEDLINE, APA PsycINFO, Embase, CINAHL) strategy will be applied to identify articles examining interventions for children diagnosed with an AD. Articles will be eligible for inclusion if they assess at least one AD intervention (eg, psychological), in children 4–18 years of age inclusive. Initial title and abstract screening will be completed by two trained reviewers independently and in duplicate. Full-text screening of each included article will be completed independently and in duplicate by two of three trained reviewers. Identified outcomes will be mapped to a standard outcome taxonomy developed for core outcome sets. Trial and outcome characteristics will be synthesised using quantitative metrics (counts and frequencies).
Ethics and dissemination As this is a scoping review of the literature and patient information or records were not accessed, institutional ethics approval was not required. Results of this scoping review will be disseminated to clinicians, researchers inclusive of trialists and other stakeholders invested in outcome selection, measurement and reporting in paediatric AD trials. In addition, scoping review results will inform the development of a Core Outcome Set for paediatric AD trials—a minimum set of outcomes that should be measured across trials in an area of health, without precluding the inclusion of other outcomes.
- Anxiety disorders
- Protocols & guidelines
- Child & adolescent psychiatry
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Contributors SM was responsible for study conception (planning). SM, NJB and KRK were responsible for study design (planning). MCP, RD, YN and MP were responsible for methodology, writing the original draft, reviewing, and editing (conducting the work). MCP, RD, YN, MP, SM, NJB, KRK and SV critically reviewed and provided feedback on the study design and manuscript (reporting). MCP, RD, YN, MP, SM, NJB, KRK and SV read and approved the protocol prior to its submission (reporting).
Funding This research was funded in part by a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) grant titled 'Measuring What Matters: Development and Dissemination of a Core Outcome Set (COS) for Clinical Trials in Pediatric Anxiety Disorders'.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research. Refer to the Methods section for further details.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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