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Feasibility and Preliminary Efficacy of a WebBased Parenting Skills Program for Young Children With Traumatic Brain Injury

Wade, Shari L. PhD; Oberjohn, Karen MA; Burkhardt, Abby BA; Greenberg, Ira MFA

Section Editor(s): Bell, Kathleen R. MD; Hart, Tessa PhD

Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: July/August 2009 - Volume 24 - Issue 4 - p 239–247
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e3181ad6680
Article

Objective: To report the feasibility and preliminary efficacy of a Web-based parenting skills program to reduce behavior problems following traumatic brain injury (TBI) in young children.

Methods: Families of 9 children between the ages of 3 and 8 years with TBI, injured less than 24 months earlier, participated in a pilot study of a Web-based parenting skills program designed to increase positive parenting skills and to improve caregiver stress management and coping. The program consisted of 10 core sessions and up to 4 supplemental sessions. Each session consisted of self-guided didactic information, video modeling skills, and exercises. Online sessions were followed by synchronous sessions providing in vivo coaching of target skills.

Results: Caregivers completed an average of 12 sessions (range 5–24). Ratings of ease of use and satisfaction were high. Paired t tests revealed significant improvements in target parenting behaviors between baseline and session 2 and between sessions 2 and 4. These improvements were maintained at follow-up. Among the 5 families who completed the follow-up assessment, there were trends for reductions in the overall number of behavior problems.

Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence of the potential feasibility and efficacy of an online parenting skills intervention for improving positive parenting skills and for reducing child behavior problems following early TBI.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine (Dr Wade and Mss Oberjohn and Burkhardt); and Miami University, Oxford (Ms Greenberg), Ohio.

Corresponding Author: Shari L. Wade, PhD, Division of Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, 3333, Burnet Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45229 (shari.wade@cchmc.org).

This project was supported by a Field-initiated research grant from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (Dr Wade). The authors acknowledge the contributions of Erna Olafson, PhD; Erica Pearl, PsyD; and Christopher Kaeppner, PhD, in the development and refinement of the intervention materials. Also the authors acknowledge the assistance of Paulina Osinska and Tara Lane in data coding and entry. Results reported in this article were presented in part at the 2008 meeting of the Society for Computers in Psychology in Chicago, Illinois.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.