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A Systematic Review of Parenting Interventions for Traumatic Brain Injury: Child and Parent Outcomes

Brown, Felicity Louise BSc (Hons); Whittingham, Koa PhD; Boyd, Roslyn PhD; Sofronoff, Kate PhD

Section Editor(s): Caplan, Bruce PhD, ABPP; Bogner, Jennifer PhD, ABPP

The Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation: September/October 2013 - Volume 28 - Issue 5 - p 349–360
doi: 10.1097/HTR.0b013e318245fed5
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy of parenting interventions on child and parent behavioral and emotional outcomes for parents of children with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Methods: Systematic searches of 5 databases. Included studies were assessed for quality, and relevant data were extracted and collated.

Results: Eight articles met inclusion criteria, reporting 6 trials of interventions involving parent training for parents of children with TBI. Only 1 pre-post study trialed a version of a traditional parenting intervention. The remaining studies involved a multicomponent family problem-solving intervention. Each trial found a statistically significant intervention effect for at least 1 outcome measure.

Conclusions: Interventions that train parents may be a useful approach to alleviate behavioral and emotional disturbances after pediatric TBI. Some evidence suggests that these interventions may help to improve parenting skill and adjustment. However, all identified studies included interventions with multiple treatment components, so the effects attributable to parent training alone remain undetermined. Further quality trials are needed to assess the unique effectiveness of parenting interventions in this population.

School of Psychology (Ms Brown, Drs Whittingham and Sofronoff); Queensland Cerebral Palsy and Rehabilitation Research Centre, School of Medicine (Ms Brown and Drs Whittingham and Boyd); and The Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute (Ms Brown and Drs Whittingham and Boyd), The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.

Corresponding Author: Felicity Louise Brown, BSc (Hons), The University of Queensland, School of Psychology, Brisbane, Queensland, 4072, Australia (

Ms Brown received a Queensland Children's Medical Research Institute PhD science scholarship. Dr Whittingham received a National Health and Medical Research Council Training fellowship. Dr Boyd received a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development award.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins