Early Parenting Acceptance and Commitment Therapy 'Early PACT' for parents of infants with cerebral palsy: a study protocol of a randomised controlled trial

Koa Whittingham, Jeanie Sheffield, Catherine Mak, Corrine Dickinson, Roslyn N Boyd
2020 BMJ Open  
IntroductionNew international clinical practice guidelines exist for identifying infants at high risk of cerebral palsy (CP) earlier: between 12 to 24 weeks corrected age, significantly earlier than previous diagnosis windows in Australia at 19 months. The earlier detection of infants at high risk of CP creates an opportunity for earlier intervention. The quality of the parent-infant relationship impacts various child outcomes, and is leveraged in other forms of intervention. This paper
more » ... This paper presents the protocol of a randomised controlled trial of an online parent support programme, Early Parenting Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (Early PACT) for families of infants identified as at high risk of CP. We predict that participating in the Early PACT programme will be associated with improvements in the parent-infant relationship, in parent mental health and well-being as well as infant behaviour and quality of life.Methods and analysisThis study aims to recruit 60 parents of infants (0 to 2 years old corrected age) diagnosed with CP or identified as at high risk of having CP. Participants will be randomly allocated to one of two groups: Early PACT or waitlist control (1:1). Early PACT is an online parent support programme grounded in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). It is delivered as a course on an open source course management system called edX. Early PACT is designed to support parental adjustment and parent-infant relationship around the time of early diagnosis. Assessments will be conducted at baseline, following completion of Early PACT and at 6-month follow-up (retention). The primary outcome will be the quality of parent-child interactions as measured by the Emotional Availability Scale. Standard analysis methods for randomised controlled trial will be used to make comparisons between the two groups (Early PACT and waitlist control). Retention of effects will be examined at 6-month follow-up.Ethics and disseminationThis study is approved through appropriate Australian and New Zealand ethics committees (see in text) with parents providing written informed consent. Findings from this trial will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journal publications and conference presentations.Trial registration detailsThis trial has been prospectively registered on 12 June 2018 to present (ongoing) with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ACTRN12618000986279); https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=3 74 896
doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2020-037033 pmid:33039994 fatcat:fwbhkr7rrfatjefbnwjmx7ixhm