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A Delphi method investigation to prioritise activity-related determinants thought to affect mental health in adolescent populations
  • Jackie Parsonage,
  • Professor Mona Eklund,
  • Helen Dawes
Jackie Parsonage
Oxford Brookes University Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Professor Mona Eklund
Lund University
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Helen Dawes
University of Exeter
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Introduction Emergent mental illness during adolescence affects daily functioning, causing disruption to daily activities, routines, and patterns. Multiple inter-related personal, social and environmental determinants influence the onset, nature and subsequent course of those difficulties. Research suggests a bi-directional relationship exists between mental health and activity choices. Activity-focused interventions such as occupational therapy may improve adolescent mental health related outcomes. In this study, we identify and select which activity-related determinants should be prioritised in the development of an occupation therapy-based intervention for adolescents with emerging mental health difficulties using expert consensus. Method A modified two-round Delphi survey method was conducted with occupational therapists and researchers to ascertain a consensus opinion on the prioritisation of specific activity-related determinants that influence 16-to 17-year-olds’ Results Eighty-nine determinants were identified and prioritised. Fourteen of these were personal activity-related determinants including ‘types of activity’ in which young people engage, the ‘balance of activities’ in which they engage, their ‘over and under consumptions of activities’, and their ‘underdeveloped occupation-based coping skills’. The expert panel prioritised ‘personal self-confidence’, ‘values’, and ‘perception of confidence’ in relation to the activities adolescents do. Conclusions This study generated a detailed picture of the activity-related determinants that are important in adolescence, and aligns with the adolescent model of occupational choice. Our findings have potential to inform activity-related intervention development and policy. Further research is needed, particularly to understand young people’s perspectives on these determinants and to investigate the determinants that would benefit from further empirical research.
27 Jan 2023Submitted to Early Intervention in Psychiatry
30 Jan 2023Assigned to Editor
30 Jan 2023Submission Checks Completed
30 Jan 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
10 May 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned