Assessing the Impact of Mental Health Difficulties on Young People's Daily Lives: Protocol for a Scoping Umbrella Review of Measurement Instruments


Introduction: An important consideration for determining the severity of mental health symptoms is their impact on youth’s daily lives. Those wishing to assess life impact face several challenges: First, various measurement instruments are available, including of global functioning, health-related quality of life (HRQoL), and well-being. Existing reviews have tended to focus on one of these domains; consequently, a comprehensive overview is lacking. Second, the extent to which such instruments truly capture distinct concepts is unclear. Third, many available scales conflate symptoms and their impact, thus undermining much needed analyses of associations between the two.

Methods and analysis: A scoping umbrella review will examine existing reviews of life impact measures for use with 6-24-year-olds in the context of mental health and well-being research. We will systematically search five bibliographic databases (MEDLINE, Embase, APA PsycINFO, CINAHL, Web of Science), and conduct systematic record screening, data extraction and charting based on methodological guidance by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI). Data synthesis will involve the tabulation of scale characteristics, feasibility, and measurement properties, and the use of summary statistics to synthesize how these instruments operationalize life impact.

Ethics and dissemination: This study will provide a comprehensive road map for researchers and clinicians seeking to assess life impact in youth mental health, providing guidance in navigating available measurement options. We will seek to publish the findings in a leading peer-reviewed journal in the field. Formal research ethics approval will not be required.

medRxiv preprint