Vertaisarvioitu alkuperäisartikkeli tai data-artikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä (A1)

An Internet-Based Parent Training With Telephone Coaching on Managing Disruptive Behavior in Children at Special Family Counseling Centers During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Feasibility Study

Julkaisun tekijät: Sourander Saana, Sourander Andre, Hinkka-Yli-Salomäki Susanna, Ristkari Terja, Kurki Marjo

Kustantaja: JMIR Publications

Julkaisuvuosi: 2022

Journal: JMIR Pediatrics and Parenting

Volyymi: 5

Julkaisunumero: 4

eISSN: 2561-6722



Rinnakkaistallenteen osoite:


Background: There is growing concern about the short- and long-term impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic will have on the mental health and psychosocial well-being of children and families. There are no existing studies about feasibility and outcomes using internet-based parent training programs with telephone coaching for disruptive behavioral problems in childhood during the COVID-19 pandemic in clinical settings.

Objective: This study explored how the Strongest Families Smart Website (SFSW) parent training program, with telephone coaching, provided support during the COVID-19 pandemic at specialist family counseling centers in Helsinki, Finland, when restrictions made face-to-face counseling impossible. This study followed the success of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and its implementation study of the SFSW parent training program by primary care child health clinics. The aim was to improve parenting skills, so that parents could tackle disruptive behavior by developing positive parent-child relationships. It started in May 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was at its height in Finland.

Methods: In total, 8 family counseling centers in Helsinki identified 50 referrals aged 3-8 years with high levels of parent-reported disruptive behavioral problems. Child psychopathology and functioning and parental skills and well-being were measured at baseline, posttreatment, and 6 months later using a range of tools. The data were extracted from questionnaires completed by the parents.

Results: We found that 44 (88%) of the 50 families completed the whole 11-session parent training program. Most of the children (n=48, 96%) had definitive or severe behavioral problems when they were initially screened by the centers, but with those assessed at the 6-month follow-up (n=45, 90%), this dropped to 58% (n=26). There were significant changes from baseline to 6-month follow-up in most of the child psychopathology measures, including the Child Behavior Checklist-Parent Report Form (CBCL) total score (mean change 16.3, SE 3.0, 95% CI 10.2-22.3; P<.001) and externalizing score (mean change 7.0, SE 1.0, 95% CI 4.9-9.0; P<.001). When parenting skills were measured with the Parenting Scale (PS), they showed significant changes from baseline to 6-month follow-up in total scores (mean change 0.5, SE 0.1, 95% CI 0.4-0.7; P<.001). Parents showed significant change in the stress subscore (mean change 3.9, SE 0.8, 95% CI 2.2-5.6; P<.001). Of the parents who filled in the satisfaction questionnaire (n=45, 90%), 42 (93%) reported high satisfaction in the skills and 44 (98%) in the professionalism of the family coaches.

Conclusions: The program proved to be an effective method for improving parenting skills and child psychopathology and functioning. The parents were satisfied with the program, and the dropout rate was exceptionally low. The study shows that the training program could be implemented in specialist clinical settings and during crisis conditions, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ladattava julkaisu

This is an electronic reprint of the original article.
This reprint may differ from the original in pagination and typographic detail. Please cite the original version.

Last updated on 2022-12-12 at 15:14