Objective: To assess the effectiveness of an indicated early intervention and prevention programme for anxiety disorders when conducted by school staff.
Method: A total of 260 students in their first year of high school with self-reported anxiety symptoms >1 SD above the mean score of a normative sample were randomly allocated on the basis of their school to an intervention condition led by school staff or to a monitoring condition.
Results: There was little difference between conditions at the 2 year and 4 year follow up on self-reported symptoms, and no difference on diagnosis or health-care use.
Conclusions: Outcomes associated with indicated prevention programmes led by school staff may not be as strong as those produced by specialist mental health staff. More work is needed to delineate models by which evidence-based treatments can be effectively used in schools.