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Prevalence of neurodevelopmental disorders and their impact on the health and social well-being among looked after children (LAC): a systematic review protocol
Systematic Reviews, Volume: 11, Issue: 1
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BackgroundLooked after children (LAC) that are placed in either a foster, kinship, residential care setting or transition to adoption continue to develop debilitating disorders that significantly impact their overall health and social well-being. The prevalence of these disorders is often depicted u...
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BackgroundLooked after children (LAC) that are placed in either a foster, kinship, residential care setting or transition to adoption continue to develop debilitating disorders that significantly impact their overall health and social well-being. The prevalence of these disorders is often depicted under broad categories such as mental, behavioural or neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). Limited in research is the prevalence of what specific disorders fall under these broad categories. NDDs such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) which fall under an umbrella group in the expert field of genetics and neuropsychiatry will be explored. Unsupported, these disorders can lead to suboptimal health and social outcomes for both the child and family. In the general population, the prevalence of these NDDs and impacts on health and social well-being are relatively well documented, but for minority groups such as LAC, research is extremely limited. This review aims to estimate the prevalence of NDDs among LAC and explore how they might impact the health and social well-being of these vulnerable children. If feasible, the review will compare the prevalence rates to those children who are not looked after, to illuminate any differences or similarities between populations.MethodsPubMed, ASSIA, IBSS, Web of Science, PsychINFO, Scopus, Psych articles, Social Care Online, secondary, grey literature and government publications will be searched to identify any eligible studies. No restrictions will be placed on country, design or year of publication. Studies must provide primary data on the prevalence or incidence of NDDs for individuals < 25 years of age, supported by either a diagnostic code, standardised diagnostic assessment tool or survey response. The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) critical appraisal tools will be utilised to assess the quality and bias and the random-effects model used to estimate a pooled prevalence of NDDs.DiscussionAttaining an estimated prevalence of these NDDs and identifying any impacts on health and social well-being might inform key stakeholders in health, educational and social sectors with important information that might aid in the early identification and intervention to safeguard and meet the unique needs of these children.
Looked after child; Adopted; Residential; Kinship; Prevalence; Neurodevelopmental disorder; Health; Social; Well-being; Systematic review; Protocol
Faculty of Medicine, Health and Life Sciences