Self-Harm, Suicidal Behaviours, and Cyberbullying in Children and Young People: Systematic Review – Journal of Medical Internet Research

ABSTRACT

Background: Given the concerns about bullying via electronic communication in children and young people and its possible contribution to self-harm, we have reviewed the evidence for associations between cyberbullying involvement and self-harm or suicidal behaviors (such as suicidal ideation, suicide plans, and suicide attempts) in children and young people.

Objective: The aim of this study was to systematically review the current evidence examining the association between cyberbullying involvement as victim or perpetrator and self-harm and suicidal behaviors in children and young people (younger than 25 years), and where possible, to meta-analyze data on the associations.

Methods: An electronic literature search was conducted for all studies published between January 1, 1996, and February 3, 2017, across sources, including MEDLINE, Cochrane, and PsycINFO. Articles were included if the study examined any association between cyberbullying involvement and self-harm or suicidal behaviors and reported empirical data in a sample aged under 25 years. Quality of included papers was assessed and data were extracted. Meta-analyses of data were conducted.

Results: A total of 33 eligible articles from 26 independent studies were included, covering a population of 156,384 children and young people. A total of 25 articles (20 independent studies, n=115,056) identified associations (negative influences) between cybervictimization and self-harm or suicidal behaviors or between perpetrating cyberbullying and suicidal behaviors. Three additional studies, in which the cyberbullying, self-harm, or suicidal behaviors measures had been combined with other measures (such as traditional bullying and mental health problems), also showed negative influences (n=44,526). A total of 5 studies showed no significant associations (n=5646). Meta-analyses, producing odds ratios (ORs) as a summary measure of effect size (eg, ratio of the odds of cyber victims who have experienced SH vs nonvictims who have experienced SH), showed that, compared with nonvictims, those who have experienced cybervictimization were OR 2.35 (95% CI 1.65-3.34) times as likely to self-harm, OR 2.10 (95% CI 1.73-2.55) times as likely to exhibit suicidal behaviors, OR 2.57 (95% CI 1.69-3.90) times more likely to attempt suicide, and OR 2.15 (95% CI 1.70-2.71) times more likely to have suicidal thoughts. Cyberbullying perpetrators were OR 1.21 (95% CI 1.02-1.44) times more likely to exhibit suicidal behaviors and OR 1.23 (95% CI 1.10-1.37) times more likely to experience suicidal ideation than nonperpetrators.

Conclusions: Victims of cyberbullying are at a greater risk than nonvictims of both self-harm and suicidal behaviors. To a lesser extent, perpetrators of cyberbullying are at risk of suicidal behaviors and suicidal ideation when compared with nonperpetrators. Policy makers and schools should prioritize the inclusion of cyberbullying involvement in programs to prevent traditional bullying. Type of cyberbullying involvement, frequency, and gender should be assessed in future studies.

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RCPCH responds to new child mortality study

English under 5’s are one and half times more likely to die than those living in Sweden. RCPCH responds to new paper published in Lancet.

The paper, published in The Lancet, compares child mortality rates of more than 3.9 million English births and 1 million Swedish births and says the difference is largely due to children in England typically weighing less at birth, being born earlier, and having more birth anomalies (such as congenital heart defects) than in Sweden.

Responding to paper published in The Lancet today which seeks to understand why child mortality is higher in England than in Sweden, Dr Ronny Cheung, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), said:

“The results of this paper emphasise what we have known for many years. Yet the stark reality remains that in England, more children are dying than our Western European counterparts. As this paper points out, Sweden and England are two high-income countries with similar levels of economic development and universal healthcare –  so why are children in England more likely to die than those in Sweden?

“We know that deprivation plays a major part and this can lead to higher rates of poor mental health, increased chance of alcohol or substance misuse, and obesity.  Babies of the most deprived families are more likely to be born premature or with low weight than the most affluent ones, and twice as likely to die in the first year of life. As the gap between rich and poor continues to widen, we have little chance of catching up with our European neighbours without social inequalities being addressed.

“At a time where public health budgets are being cut, the very services that are required to help improve these rates are being lost. We need a commitment from Government that health visiting services will be protected- helping professionals support mothers at risk of ill physical and mental health, in addition to providing stop smoking services, breastfeeding support and weight management advice to those at risk groups.”

The study used routinely collected medical data from the English NHS and Swedish health services to compare births from 2003 to 2012, and track the children’s health and death records up to their fifth birthday. These records included information on the mother’s age, family’s socioeconomic position, as well as length of pregnancy, the child’s birthweight, gender, and whether they had any birth anomalies.

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Emollient bath additives for the treatment of childhood eczema (BATHE): multicentre pragmatic parallel group randomised controlled trial of clinical and cost effectiveness – BMJ

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Abstract

Objectives To determine the clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of including emollient bath additives in the management of eczema in children.

Design Pragmatic randomised open label superiority trial with two parallel groups.

Setting 96 general practices in Wales and western and southern England.

Participants 483 children aged 1 to 11 years, fulfilling UK diagnostic criteria for atopic dermatitis. Children with very mild eczema and children who bathed less than once weekly were excluded.

Interventions Participants in the intervention group were prescribed emollient bath additives by their usual clinical team to be used regularly for 12 months. The control group were asked to use no bath additives for 12 months. Both groups continued with standard eczema management, including leave-on emollients, and caregivers were given standardised advice on how to wash participants.

Main outcome measures The primary outcome was eczema control measured by the patient oriented eczema measure (POEM, scores 0-7 mild, 8-16 moderate, 17-28 severe) weekly for 16 weeks. Secondary outcomes were eczema severity over one year (monthly POEM score from baseline to 52 weeks), number of eczema exacerbations resulting in primary healthcare consultation, disease specific quality of life (dermatitis family impact), generic quality of life (child health utility-9D), utilisation of resources, and type and quantity of topical corticosteroid or topical calcineurin inhibitors prescribed.

Results 483 children were randomised and one child was withdrawn, leaving 482 children in the trial: 51% were girls (244/482), 84% were of white ethnicity (447/470), and the mean age was 5 years. 96% (461/482) of participants completed at least one post-baseline POEM, so were included in the analysis, and 77% (370/482) completed questionnaires for more than 80% of the time points for the primary outcome (12/16 weekly questionnaires to 16 weeks). The mean baseline POEM score was 9.5 (SD 5.7) in the bath additives group and 10.1 (SD 5.8) in the no bath additives group. The mean POEM score over the 16 week period was 7.5 (SD. 6.0) in the bath additives group and 8.4 (SD 6.0) in the no bath additives group. No statistically significant difference was found in weekly POEM scores between groups over 16 weeks. After controlling for baseline severity and confounders (ethnicity, topical corticosteroid use, soap substitute use) and allowing for clustering of participants within centres and responses within participants over time, POEM scores in the no bath additives group were 0.41 points higher than in the bath additives group (95% confidence interval −0.27 to 1.10), below the published minimal clinically important difference for POEM of 3 points. The groups did not differ in secondary outcomes, economic outcomes, or adverse effects.

Conclusions This trial found no evidence of clinical benefit from including emollient bath additives in the standard management of eczema in children. Further research is needed into optimal regimens for leave-on emollient and soap substitutes.

 

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Inhaled corticosteroids in ventilated preterm neonates: a non-randomized dose-ranging study – BMC Pediatrics

 

Abstract

Background

Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) offer targeted treatment for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) with minimal systemic effects compared to systemic steroids. However, dosing of ICS in the management of infants at high-risk of developing BPD is not well established. The objective of this study was to determine an effective dose of ICS for the treatment of ventilator-dependent infants to facilitate extubation or reduce fractional inspired oxygen concentration.

Methods

Forty-one infants born at < 32 weeks gestational age (GA) or < 1250 g who were ventilator-dependent at 10–28 days postnatal age were included. A non-randomized dose-ranging trial was performed using aerosolized inhaled beclomethasone with hydrofluoralkane propellant (HFA-BDP). Four dosing groups (200, 400, 600 and 800 μg twice daily for 1 week) with 11, 11, 10 and 9 infants in each group, respectively, were studied. The primary outcome was therapeutic efficacy (successful extubation or reduction in FiO2 of > 75% from baseline) in ≥60% of infants in the group. Oxygen requirements, complications and long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes were also assessed.

Results

The median age at enrollment was 22 (10–28) postnatal days. The primary outcome, therapeutic efficacy as defined above, was not achieved in any group. However, there was a significant reduction in post-treatment FiO2 at a dose of 800 μg bid. No obvious trends were seen in long-term neurodevelopmental outcomes.

Conclusions

Therapeutic efficacy was not achieved with all studied doses of ICS. A significant reduction in oxygen requirements was noted in ventilator-dependent preterm infants at 10–28 days of age when given 800 μg of HFA-BDP bid. Larger randomized trials of ICS are required to determine efficacy for the management of infants at high-risk for development of BPD.

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