Longitudinal changes in quality of life and psychosocial problems of primary school children in a deprived urban neighborhood over the course of a school-based integrated approach

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The municipality of Amsterdam implemented a 2-year school-based integrated approach in schools in a deprived neighborhood. The integrated approach targeted the domains of education, health and poverty and the children's school, neighborhood and home environment by involving various agencies and actors. In this study, changes in children's quality of life and psychosocial problems over the course of the integrated approach were examined and evaluated. A dynamic cohort design was used. At five measurement occasions (T1-T5) during 2 years, children from four consecutive grades in five schools filled out a questionnaire (total n = 614). In children between 7 and 13 years, quality of life was measured with the KIDSCREEN-10. In children between 9 and 13 years, psychosocial problems were measured with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Generalized estimating equations were applied. Time, sex, age, socio-economic status, ethnic background, grade, and school were included as independent variables. Quality of life was higher from the first follow-up during the approach (T2) until the end of the approach (T4) compared to at the start of the approach (T1). At T5, several months after the approach ended, scores returned back to baseline. Likewise, a reduction in children's psychosocial problems was detected at the end of the approach (T4) compared to at the start of the approach (T1). However, both before and after that time point, no improvements were detected. This study shows that integrated approaches can be beneficial for children's quality of life and psychosocial health, but continued investments may be needed to maintain established improvements. Trial registration NTR6571 (NL6395), August 4 2017 retrospectively registered.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

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© 2021. The Author(s).

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