Question: In adults with dependent children, how effective are group-based parent training programmes, for improving parental psychosocial health?


Overall, there was a good amount of evidence, including one good-quality systematic review (48 trials) and a further seven trials (most good or moderate quality) supporting the use of group parenting programmes. Most of the evidence found significant short-term improvements (up to six months) in parental stress, anxiety, depression or an overall measure of psychopathology. Five out of the seven trials were in a general setting involving parents of pre-school children (two also included older children) and two were in a specific setting (a disadvantaged area, and children with diabetes). Most of the group based parenting programmes were delivered face-to-face and a web-based programme was only evaluated by one trial.

As most of the trial participants were women, more research is needed into the effects of parenting programmes on fathers. Most of the trials only assessed short-term follow-up in a single setting so more multi-centre randomised trials, comparing different types or deliveries of programmes, with longer follow-up periods are needed.

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To view the Cochrane review, click the link under Related Documents below.

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