Parental and health professional evaluations of a support service for parents of excessively crying infants
journal contributionposted on 27.08.2019, 13:37 by D Bamber, C Powell, J Long, R Garratt, J Brown, S Rudge, T Morris, N Bhupendra Jaicim, R Plachcinski, S Dyson, E Boyle, N Turney, J Chessman, I St. James-Roberts
Background The ‘Surviving Crying’ study was designed to develop and provisionally evaluate a support service for parents of excessively crying babies, including its suitability for use in the United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service (NHS). The resulting service includes three materials: a website, a printed booklet, and a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) programme delivered to parents by a qualified professional. This study aimed to measure whether parents used the materials and to obtain parents’ and NHS professionals’ evaluations of whether they are fit for purpose. Parents were asked about participating in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the materials fully in health service use. Methods Participants were 57 parents with babies they judged to be crying excessively and 96 NHS Health Visitors (HVs). Parental use and parents’ and HVs’ ratings of the Surviving Crying materials were measured. Results Thirty four parents reported using the website, 24 the printed booklet and 24 the CBT sessions. Parents mostly accessed the website on mobile phones or tablets and use was substantial. All the parents and almost all HVs who provided data judged the materials to be helpful for parents and suitable for NHS use. If offered a waiting list control group, 85% of parents said they would have been willing to take part in a full RCT evaluation of the Surviving Crying package. Discussion and conclusions The findings identify the need for materials to support parents of excessively crying babies within national health services in the UK. The Surviving Crying support package appears suitable for this purpose and a full community-level RCT of the package is feasible and likely to be worthwhile. Limitations to the study and barriers to delivery of the services were identified, indicating improvements needed in future research. Trial registration Study Registration no. ISRCTN84975637.