Study finds that children exposed to general anesthesia before 4 years have poorer development at school entry and school performance | Pediatric Anesthesia | via Journal of Anaesthesia Practice
The new finding is based on a data-linkage study of over 210,000 children in New South Wales, Australia.
211,978 children included in the study were born in New South Wales at 37-plus weeks’ gestation without major congenital anomalies or neurodevelopmental disability. Of these, researchers had data on their school entry developmental assessment in 2009, 2012, or their Grade-3 school test results in 2008-2014.
The researchers compared the development and school results of children exposed to general anaesthesia during hospital procedures (37,880) up to 48 months of age to same-aged children with no exposure to general anaesthesia or hospitalisation (197,301).
Compared to children unexposed to general anaesthesia, those exposed to general anaesthesia had a:
- 17 per cent increased risk of poor child development
- 34 per cent increased risk of lower numeracy scores on school tests
- 23 per cent increased risk of lower reading scores on school tests
When the researchers restricted their analyses to children who’d had only one hospitalisation involving a procedure requiring general anaesthesia, they found no increased risk for poor development or reduced reading scores, however the risk of poor numeracy scores remained.
Full story at Journal of Anaesthesia Practice
Journal reference: Francisco J Schneuer, et al. The impact of general anesthesia on child development and school performance: a population-based study | Pediatric Anesthesia | 2018; DOI: 10.1111/pan.13390
NIHR | May 2018 | Worries that keep you awake at night
A new blog post on the NIHR blog, from Professor Esther Crawley, Professor of Child Health, University of Bristol, highlights the impact of CFS or ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) on condition.
Most of the children who attend Professor Crawley’s clinic are only attending school for two days a week. These patients have overwhelming fatigue and many are in constant pain. Because of their illness, they lose their friends, miss out on education and it causes almost unbearable stress and hardship on families. Now, a new randomised controlled trial led by Professor Crawley, the FITNET-NHS study, is comparing two treatments for children with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) who do not have access to a local specialist CFS/ME service. The study will investigate whether FITNET-NHS, an online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) program, is effective in the NHS, and whether it offers value for money compared to Activity Management (delivered remotely through Skype) (via NIHR).
Further information about the trial can be found from the University of Bristol here
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has published Facing the Future Audit 2017. This report presents evidence to demonstrate how paediatric services across the UK are meeting standards within ‘Facing the Future: Standards for acute general paediatric services’ and ‘Facing the Future: Together for child health’. The audits seek to draw out the intended and unintended impact of standards whilst collecting and sharing practice examples where standards are being met particularly well.
Additional link: RCPCH press release
Department of Health and Social Care | April 2018 | New support to help children living with alcohol-dependent parents
Jeremy Hunt has announced new plans to identify at-risk children and provide them with rapid access to support and advice. He said, “the consequences of alcohol abuse are devastating for those in the grip of an addiction- but for too long, the children of alcoholic parents have been the silent victims. This is not right, not fair. These measures will ensure thousands of children affected by their parent’s alcohol dependency have access to the support they need and deserve.”
As part of these plans, a £4.5 million fund has been promised to support at-risk children, is for local authorities to develop plans that improve outcomes for children of alcohol-dependent parents. Steve Brine MP will have a specific responsibility for children with alcohol-dependent parents.
The measures include:
- fast access to support and mental health services for children and their families where there is a dependent drinker
- quicker identification of at-risk children, including those undertaking inappropriate care responsibilities
- the provision of outreach programmes to get more parents successfully through addiction treatment
- early intervention programmes to reduce the numbers of children needing to go into care
They are designed to help an estimated 200,000 children in England living with alcohol-dependent parents.
Further details are at the Department of Health and Social Care
A new study examines the relationship between cyberbullying and self- harm (SH) and suicidal behaviour. The researchers reviewed the evidence and found victims of cyber bullying are twice as likely to self harm than their peers. They also noted perpetrators are at risk of suicidal behaviors and suicidal ideation when compared with nonperpetrators.
The introduction of a mindfulness and yoga programme with child-friendly poses in an US public school yielded improvement in emotional and psychosocial quality of life for the pupils who participated in this intervention. Researchers worked with a school New Orleans to add mindfulness and yoga to the school’s programming for students needing additional support. Pupils who were screened for symptoms of anxiety previously were randomly assigned to two groups. The school children participated in the small group activities at the beginning of the school day, these sessions included breathing exercises, guided relaxation and several traditional yoga poses. A control group (n= 32 students) received care as usual, which included counselling and other activities led by a school social worker. Researchers evaluated each group’s health related quality of life before and after the intervention, using two widely recognized research tools, this included one specifically designed for children, the Paediatric Quality of Life Inventory (via Science Daily).
Principal author of the study Alessandra Bazzano said : “The intervention improved psychosocial and emotional quality of life scores for students, as compared to their peers who received standard care.”
The full news release from Science Daily can be read here
Objective: To assess the impact of a yoga curriculum in an elementary school on student quality of life, and to assess teacher and staff perception of potential barriers to, and benefits of, introducing yoga and mindfulness into the classroom.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial was utilized to assess the impact of a brief intervention on third-grade students who screened positive for symptoms of anxiety. Students were randomized to an intervention group of 20 students receiving small-group yoga/mindfulness activities for 8 weeks between October 2016 and February 2017, and a control group of 32 students receiving care as usual. The Brief Multidimensional Students’ Life Satisfaction Scale-Peabody Treatment Progress Battery and the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory (PedsQL) served as outcomes. Teachers were invited to participate in two professional development sessions about introducing yoga and mindfulness into the classroom, and completed a survey following each of the sessions.
Results: In generalized estimating equation models adjusted for time, the yoga-based intervention was associated with a 14.17 unit increase in student emotional PedsQL (p-value 0.001) and a 7.43 unit increase in psychosocial PedsQL (p-value 0.01). Results were not attenuated by adjustment. Teachers and staff reported using yoga more frequently in the classroom following the second of two professional development sessions (p-value less than 0.05). Perceived barriers to introducing yoga to the classroom were similar at two data collection time points, while perceived benefits remained high.
Conclusion: The intervention was associated with a significant improvement in emotional and psychosocial quality of life in the intervention group when compared to the control group, suggesting that yoga/mindfulness interventions may improve symptoms of anxiety among students. Yoga/mindfulness activities may facilitate stress management among elementary school students and may be added as a complement to social and emotional learning activities.
The paper is published in Psychology Research and Behavior Management where it can be downloaded