Objectives: To review empirical evaluations of individual-level interventions intended to improve mental health or well-being for vulnerable adolescents. Study design: This is a systematic mapping review. Methods: Thirteen databases covering academic and gray literature were searched for published reviews and randomised controlled trials, and gray literature (2005-2016) and the results quality-assessed to prioritise best available evidence. We aimed to identify well-conducted systematic reviews and trials that evaluated individual-level interventions, for mental health/well-being outcomes, where the population was adolescents aged 10-24 years in any of 12 vulnerable groups at high risk of poor health outcomes (e.g. homeless, offenders, 'looked after', carers). Results: Thirty systematic reviews and 16 additional trials were identified. There was insufficient evidence to identify promising individual-level interventions that improve the mental health/well-being of any of the vulnerable groups. Conclusions: Despite Western policy to promote health and well-being among vulnerable young people, the dearth of evidence suggests a lack of interest in evaluating interventions targeting these groups in respect of their mental health/well-being outcomes.
- vulnerable adolescents, at-risk adolescents, mental health, health inequalities, systematic review, mapping review