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Table 1 Inclusion and exclusion criteria by PICO domain

From: Protocol for a systematic review of policies, programs or interventions designed to improve health and wellbeing of young people leaving the out-of-home care system

PICO Inclusion criteria Exclusion criteria
Study design • Randomised controlled trials (RCT) including:
▪ Individual RCTs
▪ Cluster RCTs
• Step-Wedge designs with random time allocation
• Non-equivalent control group designs using parallel cohorts that adjust for baseline equivalence
• Difference-in-difference estimation
• Interrupted time-series
• Synthetic control group methods
• Studies based on:
▪ Covariate matching
▪ Propensity score based methods,
▪ Doubly robust methods
▪ Regression adjustment
▪ Regression discontinuity designs, and
▪ Instrumental variable estimation.
Qualitative studies and economic evaluations will be included if they are conducted as part of a qualifying study and will be used only to generate hypotheses, inform us about the interventions and populations and inform or deepen our understanding of the quantitative findings.
• Non-primary studies, including:
▪ Literature reviews
▪ Systematic reviews
▪ Meta-analysis
• Studies without a valid counterfactual, including designs that do not include a parallel cohort that establish or adjust for baseline equivalence, including:
▪ Single group pre-post designs
▪ Control group designs without matching in time and establishing baseline equivalence
▪ Cross-sectional designs
▪ Non-controlled observational (cohort) designs
▪ Case-control designs
▪ Case studies/series
▪ Surveys
Qualitative designs and economic evaluations not undertaken in the context of an included quantitative study.
Population Youth aged between 16 and 25
Youth in OOHC for reasons of child maltreatment, neglect or risk of child maltreatment, relinquishment or lack of provision of support. OOHC settings include:
• Foster care
• Guardianship
• Kinship care
• Group care
• Residential care
• Congregate care
Youth in OOHC settings for reasons other than child maltreatment, neglect, risk of child maltreatment, relinquishment or lack of provision of support.
Youth who are not in OOHC.
Youth who are currently incarcerated, including in youth justice settings.
Youth aged less than 16 and greater than 25.
Intervention Policies, programs or interventions delivered in the home or community. Policies, programs or interventions delivered in other settings, for example: custodial settings.
Policies, programs or interventions where the focus is not on youth transitioning from out-of-home care.
Comparison Treatment as usual, another intervention, no intervention, or wait-list control. Studies using other comparators.
Outcome Primary outcomes:
• Homelessness
• Health
• Education
• Employment
• Exposure to violence (as either victim or perpetrator)
• Risky behaviour
Secondary outcomes:
• Relationships
• Life skills
Studies looking at other outcomes.
Setting Countries where a statutory care system for child maltreatment exists. Countries where a statutory care system for child maltreatment does not exist.