Trial document

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Trial Description

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Working in Europe to Stop Truancy Among Youth

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Trial Acronym


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URL of the Trial

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Brief Summary in Lay Language

The goal is to test the effectiveness of different prevention programs for lost schooling time reduction in adolescents. For obtaining necessary information about truancy among students before and after the prevention programs, about 9600 students in six countries will be asked to participate in a questionnaire study. Beside the lost schooling time, for cause investigation, this questionnaire study is about themes such as anxiety, depression, social behaviour, self-harm and suicidality.
Additionally, parents and teachers are also interviewed about the described themes during a baseline survey. For also obtaining objective data beside the lost schooling time from the self-report, the absent times officially acquired by the schools will be gathered, too.
After the baseline survey the students will be assigned to one of four prevention programs according to the random principle. These programs are: a minimal intervention (control group), an awareness training for students, a screening for students at risk with subsequent professional advice and a combination out of the two last-named.
There will be a follow-up survey after three and twelve months for studying the effectiveness of the different prevention programs.

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Brief Summary in Scientific Language

The WE-STAY study will estimate and compare the effects of four different intervention programs that recognize truancy as an indicator of distress in adolescents. The project aims at identifying truant students through a baseline screening of 9600 students; at reducing truancy and improving quality of life and mental health of adolescents in distress, using a factorial design, through the prevention of truancy. The factors are a mechanistic control intervention on truancy (TRUANCY-CONTROL), a universal intervention with an awareness program for students, families and teachers (TRUANCY-AWARE), a selective intervention aimed at direct screening by mental health professionals in schools and referral to treatment (TRUANCY-SCREEN), and a combined universal and selective intervention that includes the previously described awareness and screening interventions.

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Organizational Data

  •   DRKS00000801
  •   2011/05/12
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  •   yes
  •   Approved
  •   S-456/2010, Ethik-Kommission I der Medizinischen Fakultät Heidelberg
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Secondary IDs

  •   U1111-1120-8039 
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Health Condition or Problem studied

  •   F92.0 School refusal/ truancy with emotional and /or conduct problems
  •   F32 -  Depressive episode
  •   F92.0 -  Depressive conduct disorder
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Interventions/Observational Groups

  •   Minimal intervention (control):
    The truancy-control is a minimal intervention which aims to reduce lost schooling time without conducting an intervention on mental health and well-being of adolescents. This program is a component of all interventions and will be used as control group. In this intervention arm , the lost schooling times of the students will be gathered always at the end of every intervention week and will be communicated to the students after the eight weeks by study staff.
  •   Awareness program:
    Within a three weeks lasting awareness training, the students will be enlightened intensively about truancy and its causes by a study staff member in school. This will be done through special flyers, posters (inclusive telephone numbers and addresses for assistance) and a teaching unit about this theme.
  •   Professional screening:
    Within the professional screening, students at risk will be identified through questions about lost schooling time as well as behavioural and emotional abnormalities at the baseline survey, examined within eight weeks by a child and adolescent psychiatrist and directed to a therapy when necessary. If there appears a need for further support during the counselling interview, professional help will be recommended and facilitated.
  •   Combination:
    Within the combination arm, there will be conducted the professional screening during the first four weeks and the awareness program during the remaining four weeks.
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  •   Interventional
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  •   Randomized controlled trial
  •   Open (masking not used)
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  •   Active control
  •   Prevention
  •   Parallel
  •   N/A
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Primary Outcome

Lost schooling time: Measured in the Baseline- and the 3 and 12 month-Follow-up explorations via self report and via inspection of the attendance register.

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Secondary Outcome

Emotional health and Conduct problems:
Measured in the Baseline- and the 3 and 12 month-Follow-up explorations.
Engaged questionnaires (inter alia):
BDI – Beck Depression Inventory
SDQ - Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire PSS – Paykel Suicide Scale
GSHS - Global School-Based Pupil Health Survey
SRAS-R - School Refusal Assessment Scale-Revised (Children)
DPS-Conduct Disorder

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Countries of Recruitment

  •   Israel
  •   Estonia
  •   Germany
  •   Spain
  •   Italy
  •   Romania
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Locations of Recruitment

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  •   Actual
  •   2011/07/01
  •   9600
  •   Multicenter trial
  •   International
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Inclusion Criteria

  •   Both, male and female
  •   14   Years
  •   18   Years
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Additional Inclusion Criteria


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Exclusion Criteria

Participation unwanted

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  • start of 1:1-Block address primary-sponsor
    • Karolinska Institute
    • Ms.  Prof. Dr.  Danuta  Wasserman 
    • 17177   Stockholm
    • Sweden
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    • Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg
    • Mr.  Dr.  Christoph  Lenzen 
    • Blumenstrasse 8
    • 69115  Heidelberg
    • Germany
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    • Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie Universitätsklinikum Heidelberg
    • Mr.  Dr.  Christoph  Lenzen 
    • Blumenstrasse 8
    • 69115  Heidelberg
    • Germany
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Sources of Monetary or Material Support

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    • European Comission
    • 1049  Brüssel
    • Belgium
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  •   Recruiting complete, follow-up complete
  •   2013/04/30
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Trial Publications, Results and other Documents

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* This entry means the parameter is not applicable or has not been set.