The Early STEPS Pilot Study: The Impact of a Brief Consultation Session on Self-reported Parenting Satisfaction

Matern Child Health J. 2021 Oct 6. doi: 10.1007/s10995-021-03234-z. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Evidence-based parenting interventions can augment parental knowledge and skills to reduce parental stress and increase self-efficacy, leading to improved developmental outcomes for children. However, parenting interventions are often multi-session and require considerable time commitments from parents and primary care physicians. We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the effect of a brief consultation session on self-reported parental satisfaction and to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of incorporating occupational therapists (OTs) into a low-income urban pediatric primary care setting to conduct developmental screenings.

METHODS: OTs conducted one 45-min consultation on positive parenting practices and promoting child development with parents in a pediatric primary care practice. A one group pretest-posttest design with 6-month follow-up was utilized. Participants included 55 families with 60 children, ages 2 to 65 months 30 days. The primary outcome measure was the change in Parenting Sense of Competence Scale (PSOC) scores from baseline to 6-month follow-up. Additional outcomes were screening results, referral numbers, and follow through in obtaining early intervention services.

RESULTS: The paired difference between PSOC scores at baseline and 6 months indicated a significant increase in parenting satisfaction (p < 0.0001). Of 41 children referred, 26 were eligible and obtained services, 12 were lost to follow-up, and 3 did not qualify for services.

DISCUSSION: Our preliminary findings suggest one consultation session on positive parenting practices and promoting child development may increase parenting satisfaction. Moreover, OTs can reduce the burden on primary care physicians by providing screenings, consultations, and follow-up. Further research is warranted to evaluate these findings.

PMID:34613553 | DOI:10.1007/s10995-021-03234-z

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