Effective Evidence-Based Interventions for Emotional Well-being

Lessons for policy and practice

Bywater T and Sharples J (2012)

This systematic review summarises the outcomes of a selective review of effective school-based social-emotional learning programmes, available in the UK, and draws out lessons for policy and practice regarding choice and implementation. The findings suggest that evidence-based interventions that cut across different aspects of a child’s life (eg, home/school/other agencies) do work in terms of promoting well-being. However, the scaling up of effective programmes remains unsuccessful and there is a lack of cost-effectiveness or cost-benefit analyses surrounding effective programmes.

Choosing a programme that “works” is not enough to guarantee success. Implementing a programme with fidelity takes time and resources, but is necessary to achieve the desired, proven outcomes. A shift from being narrowly focused on “clinical effectiveness” and outcomes to being more inclusive of cost and process evaluations should result in more promising approaches, with a good potential for long-term financial and societal savings.

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