Cedar Create

Research, Evaluation and Analytics

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The COVID pandemic has had a significant impact across the NHS and healthcare sector and has contributed to a significant increase in children and young people’s mental health difficulties.  Subsequently, access to digital psychological treatments became (and remains) an important medium through which to deliver assessment and intervention.  With funding from NHS England, the team have undertaken a survey-based study to understand how CAMHS professionals and the children, young people and families they support have been impacted by this increase in remote and digital delivery. The study will aim to develop our insight into difficulties associated with IT and internet provision and how it may have adversely impacted on those unable to seek or access support due to digital poverty.

Project Lead: Hollie Gay

As team, we are passionate about understanding the impact staff working within mental health have on the community and we are working with a range of our South West CAMHS and voluntary sector and community partners in support of improving outcome data quality and reporting for the Children and young people’s Wellbeing Practitioners (CWPs) and Education Mental Health Practitioner (EMHP) Programmes.   We collect, analyse and present data demonstrating the impact of these early intervention roles across a range of community and education settings.  The team produce service and regional level reports in support of service development, commissioning intelligence and the sustainability of the roles.  As part of our collaborative engagement and support with EMHP and CWP services, we have also developed and provided organisations with a bespoke outcome and data collection tool that is both easy to use and effective in collecting outcome data for practitioners.

Project Lead: Hollie Gay

The Cedar Create research and evaluation team have been successful in bidding for Emerging Minds funding.  Building on the success of the CWP programme and its evaluation, the team will work towards the primary objective of this project to develop our understanding of what have been the key contributing factors in the effective implementation of this evidence-based provision into children and young people’s mental health services.  Through collaborative engagement with a range of professionals, providers, children, young people and their families, the project aims to conduct wide ranging qualitative study in support of developing our understanding of the real-world factors that have supported the successful application of the CWP programme. Following analysis of this information, the project will then aim to co-develop a range of resources aimed at supporting effective implementation of the CWP programme and wider evidenced based practice roles.

Our primary outputs from the study will be:

  1. A freely available CWP workforce implementation toolkit for services to use to develop their individualised implementation plan
  2.  Access to freely available CWP and evidence-based practice training resources for service to use to support staff training and to promote an understanding of evidence-based low intensity psychological interventions in their services3
  3. Integration of the tool and guidance in to relevant clinical training programmes and virtual workshops delivered by the Cedar team to support providers across the UK to use the workforce implementation toolkit and to develop their individualised implementation and evaluation plan.

Project Lead: Hollie Gay

In collaboration with Dr Laura Pass and Dr Shirley Reynolds, we are evaluating the effectiveness of behavioural activation (BA) delivered by Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners (CWP) across the South West. As part of their training in low-intensity interventions, Dr Pass has guided cohorts of CWPs to use BA with adolescents experiencing low mood. We have data from 364 young people who have received a course of BA since March 2021. Of these, we have paired data on the Revised Children’s Anxiety and Depression Scale (RCADS) low mood subscale for 96% of all young people. Referral and session information will be analysed alongside routine outcome data to establish effectiveness of the intervention delivered by professionals from a low-intensity workforce.

Project Lead: Anna Adlam

Funded by Devon Partnership Trust, Stronger Together workshops aimed at reducing incidents of suicide and increase safety. These workshops were co-produced by a team of carers, service user experts by experience and practitioners, and co-delivered by a carer expert by experience and a DPT practitioner.

We conducted a comprehensive evaluation to understand the impact of the Stronger Together training on carers’ and staff’s confidence and competence supporting someone suicidal. Using a mixed-method approach, this evaluation investigated changes in carers and staff’s knowledge of legislation when navigating consent, confidentiality, and information sharing, and understanding of importance of collaborative working following the workshops. A detailed report was produced to present and discuss the results of this evaluation.

Project Lead: Melika Janbakhsh

We are currently working on developing a publication, to be presented at an international conference, on Goal Based Outcomes (GBO) in therapeutic settings. Setting goals is an important part of community mental healthcare for children and young people. To our knowledge, no studies have compared emotional and externally observable behaviour goals and the relationship between goal achievement and wider therapy outcome (i.e., low mood and anxiety) in CWP services. Using content analyses, the descriptions of the goals children and young people set during their therapy were categorised and frequency of goal themes was calculated.

Project Lead: Hollie Gay

In collaboration with Iona Mind digital technology company, Professor Paul Farrand within Cedar at the University of Exeter is developing and evaluating the world’s first fully-digital treatment co-produced to enhance acceptability for female armed forces veterans experiencing anxiety and depression.

The project will develop a specialised app to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy, which research has shown can significantly reduce anxiety and depression. It works by helping the person understand their difficulties and teaching them skills to manage unhelpful thoughts and behaviours. The Iona Mind AI-powered platform will be used to develop the app and ensure it meets the needs of female armed forces veterans.

Project Lead: Professor Paul Farrand