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Interventions and practice models for improving health and psychosocial outcomes of children and young people in out-of-home care: protocol for a systematic review
  1. Emma Galvin1,
  2. Renée O'donnell1,
  3. Helen Skouteris1,2,
  4. Nick Halfpenny3,
  5. Aya Mousa1
  1. 1School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash Centre for Health Research and Implementation, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2School of Business, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
  3. 3Policy and Research, MacKillop Family Services, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Professor Helen Skouteris; helen.skouteris{at}


Introduction Children and young people placed in out-of-home care (OoHC) are often affected by a history of trauma and adverse childhood experiences. Trauma in early childhood can impact on children’s health and psychosocial development, whereas early interventions can improve children’s development and placement stability. Although several interventions and practice models have been developed to improve health and psychosocial outcomes for children and young people in OoHC, there remains a lack of rigorous research examining the impact of these interventions in OoHC settings, as there are no systematic reviews examining the impact these interventions and practice models have on the children and young people they serve. We aim to conduct a comprehensive systematic review to examine the effectiveness of interventions and practice models for improving health and psychosocial outcomes in children and young people living in OoHC and to identify relevant knowledge gaps.

Methods and analysis Major electronic databases including Medline, Medline in-process and other non-indexed citations, Embase, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature, PsycInfo, Sociological Abstracts and all Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews incorporating: Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, American College of PhysiciansJournal Club, Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects,Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, CochraneMethodology Register, Health Technology Assessment and National Health Service Economic Evaluation Database, will be systematically searched for any studies published between 2008 and 2018 of interventions and practice models developed to improve health and psychosocial outcomes for children and young people in OoHC. Two independent reviewers will assess titles and abstracts for eligibility according to prespecified selection criteria and will perform data extraction and quality appraisal. Meta-analyses and/or metaregression will be conducted where appropriate.

Ethics and dissemination This study will not collect primary data and formal ethical approval is therefore not required. Findings from this systematic review will be disseminated in a peer-reviewed publication and conference presentations.

PROSPERO registration number CRD42019115082.

  • behavioural outcomes
  • health outcomes
  • interventions
  • implementation
  • Out of home care
  • psychosocial health

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  • Contributors EG developed the search strategy, wrote the first draft of the review protocol and lead the data collection and analysis. AM contributed to the design and scope of the search strategy, guided the review process and revised and edited the manuscript. RO and NH contributed to the revision and editing of the manuscript. HS determined the design and scope of the review, revised and edited the manuscript, supervised in the review process and is the guarantor for ensuring the integrity and accuracy of the review data.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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