A protocol for a critical realist systematic synthesis of ~interventions to~ promote pupils’ wellbeing by improving the school climate in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Pamela Ann Abbott* (Corresponding Author), Rachel Shanks, Isabel Stanley, Lucia D’Ambruoso

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The protocol sets how we will carry out a critical realist systematic review and synthesis the literature reporting findings from empirical research of school-based climate interventions designed to promote pupils’ mental wellbeing in Low- and Middle-income Countries. It will be the first critical realist review of school-based climate interventions. There has previously been one systematic reviews of mindfulness interventions in schools in Low- and Middle-income Countries. It found that climate interventions in school generally have a positive impact on pupils’ mental health. Our review will meet an urgent need to identify for whom they work, under what circumstances and how. It will also inform the programme theory for our critical realist research into the impact of school-based mindfulness interventions in Rwanda and Ethiopia.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.Funding StatementThe research is funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR133712) using UK aid from the UK Government to support global health research. The views expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the UK government. The funders did not and will not have a role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.Author DeclarationsI confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.YesThe details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:The protocol is for a literature review and ethics approve is not required. However, the project of which the literature forms a part has obtained ethics approval from the University of Aberdeen, Addis Ababa University and the University of RwandaI confirm that all necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived, and that any patient/participant/sample identifiers included were not known to anyone (e.g., hospital staff, patients or participants themselves) outside the research group so cannot be used to identify individuals.YesI understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines, such as any relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material, if applicable.YesN/A
Original languageEnglish
JournalPloS ONE
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 23 May 2023


  • School climate
  • school environment
  • school culture
  • wellbeing
  • children and adolescents
  • critical realism
  • complexity theory


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