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Strongest Families Finland Canada: Family-based Prevention and Treatment Program of Early Childhood Disruptive Behavior

2014-09-22 14:39:22 | BioPortfolio

Summary

The goal of the Strongest Families Finland Canada project is to help parents develop skills to strengthen their families and reduce disruptive behavior in their 4 year old children.

Description

This project will have two phases, described below. The first part will be development of the web based program, the second part will be the implementation of the program in Finland. All participants will be recruited in Finland and all research activities will take place in Finland, by the Finnish Consortium. The Canadian Consortium will assist in funding and provide expert support.

Part 1: Website development:

The Strongest families program provides evidence based psychological and behavioural interventions to families with children with mild to moderate mental health problems. Parents work through a handbook with exercises, watch instructional videos and participate in weekly phone calls from a trained 'coach' (paraprofessional) to provide support, respond to parents' questions and highlight the skills included in a handbook. The preliminary analysis of a Strongest Families effectiveness trial based at the IWK Health Centre (Projects #2234, and #2654) and effect size reports from the IWK Strongest families Service Program suggest that Strongest Families is an effective treatment for Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

Strongest Families is an adaptation of the COPE program. COPE is a large-group parent training program (average 25 families per group) that has been evaluated and used in many centres across Canada, the United States and Europe. It was developed at McMaster University by a team led by Dr. Charles Cunningham (one of the investigators on this submission). The groups use a coping modelling problem solving approach to skill acquisition which encourages parents to discuss the solution to common problems, collaborate in the formulation of child management strategies, share successes, and provide supportive feedback. Large group discussions may also provide more information regarding normal child development and a greater perspective on common child management difficulties than clinic/individual parent training .

The benefits for parents participating in COPE group sessions are many, but the burden of traveling to receive services can impede attendance, especially for families in rural areas. One solution to this issue would be to adapt individualized Strongest Families to a more accessible mode.

We propose to develop a web-based version of Strongest Families in preparation for a Randomized Control Trial (RCT) in Finland. All components of web site will be developed using a collaborative approach with active participation by all members of the research team. We will review each of the component as it is developed. We estimate a minimum of three rounds of testing for each component. The program will be evaluated using the user-interface so that we review the website and all its various features in a manner that simulates the actual parent experience. No qualitative or quantitative data will be recorded for this phase of the project. No participants will be recruited for this phase of the trial.

The web version of Strongest Families will have two components. First, is a personalized website that tracks and uses all activities and interactions to modify the Strongest Families intervention as the user progresses through the sessions. Interactions include questions, surveys, and polls which will be asked periodically throughout the program (for examples see Appendix A). Second, the parenting skills curriculum will be based on our Strongest Families program, an approach derived from programs developed by members of this team18,19. Third, parents , using pseudonyms, will participate in a discussion board/blog to exchange ideas. Pseudonyms will be chosen by the participant, but will not include any identifying elements.

Part 2: Randomized trial (Conducted in Finland, no Canadian recruitment)

The centerpiece project will be a population-based RCT of high risk 4 year olds attending well-child clinics in Turku and environs. Families of children scoring at or above the 80th percentile on the BCFPI scale measuring ODD will be offered participation in a 2 arm trial. All data will be collected in Finland and stored at the University of Turku. All forms/scripts/ measures will be administered in Finnish or Swedish. This project has been approved by the Intermunicipal Hospital District of Southwest Finland. The Canadian team will provide expert and financial support.

Treatment Group: Families randomized to Web-Enhanced Strongest Families (described above) will receive the website program described above.

Control Group: Families randomized to enhanced Usual Care will receive a 45 minute intervention in the clinic from a trained nurse and a brochure describing positive parenting strategies and ways of managing parental stress.

Randomization: (1:1 treatment: control) will be conducted using central electronic randomization. Participants will be stratified by clinic (to balance social class) and child sex.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Endpoint Classification: Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Prevention

Conditions

Behaviour Disorders (Oppositional Defiance)

Intervention

Strongest Families

Location

University of Turku, Finland
TUrku
Finland

Status

Active, not recruiting

Source

IWK Health Centre

Results (where available)

View Results

Links

Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-09-22T14:39:22-0400

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