New CAPSS research studies

The Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Surveillance System (CAPSS) team, based within the Colleges’ Centre for Quality Improvement, is very pleased to confirm the start of two new research studies:

  • Far Away from Home, led by investigators at the University of Nottingham
  • Incidence of Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), led by investigators at Imperial College London.

The CAPSS project supports epidemiological studies examining rare mental health disorders and events in children and adolescents. Using an e-Card reporting system, CAPSS undertakes a process of active surveillance over a 13-month period, identifying cases for study investigators to follow-up with a short questionnaire.

Consultant psychiatrists will shortly be invited to confirm whether cases relevant to these new studies have been seen. A short description of the studies and confirmation of their start dates is provided below. You can also find out more information on the CAPSS webpage.

Far Away from Home study

The Far Away from Home study focuses on 13–17-year-olds, in England, who are referred for admission to General Adolescent Units but are admitted far from home or to adult psychiatric wards.

The research aims to find out the scale, characteristics and clinical outcomes of young people who are admitted to general adolescent units further than 50 miles from their home or to a different NHS region, or to adult wards.

It will also explore factors that contribute to such admissions, the impact of COVID-19 on referrals for admission and inpatient care received, and the views and experiences of clinicians involved in these admissions.

Surveillance for this study started in February. Invitations to report cases seen/not seen will be sent to consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists on 1st March.

Incidence of Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) study

The study aims to collect data on Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), a mental and behavioural disorder diagnosis introduced in 2013.

ARFID is an umbrella term used to describe restrictive eating patterns which result in significant health problems, including weight loss, poor growth, nutritional deficits or poor emotional wellbeing. Unlike in anorexia nervosa, ARFID is not associated with concerns about body image, weight or shape.

By using questionnaires sent to paediatricians through the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU) and child and adolescent psychiatrists through the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Surveillance system (CAPSS), this study aims to establish incidence rates and clinical features of ARFID in the UK and Ireland.

Surveillance for this study starts in March. Invitations to report cases seen/not seen will be sent to consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists on 1 April.

The CAPSS system is open to all consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists, who are automatically enrolled onto the e-Card system and invited to submit their responses.

Any psychiatrists wishing to opt-out, confirm their membership, or update their details should contact the CAPSS team by email for assistance:

Further information on the work of CAPSS can found in their 10-year report.

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