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Int J Nurs Stud. 1999 Dec;36(6):465-77.

Longitudinal effects of an early family intervention programme on the adaptation of parents of children with a disability.

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  • 1Faculty of Nursing, Université de Montréal, Que., Canada.


This study assesses the longitudinal effects of an original early intervention programme on the adaptation of parents of children with a disability (Down syndrome and cleft lip/palate, i.e. DS and CLP). Variations in the effects of the programme according to the time of measurement, the type of disability and parent's gender are also examined. Globally, the results show a better adaptation among parents who participated in the intervention programme compared to those who did not participated in the programme. These parents had lower levels of parental stress, they had more positive perceptions and attitudes concerning their child's disability and their parental situation, they were more confident in their own resources and the help they could receive from others, they had lower levels of emotional distress, anxiety and depression and they perceived more emotional support from their spouse. In general, these gains were maintained throughout the year when the children were between six and 18 months of age, they were relatively similar for parents of children with DS and parents of children with CLP, as well as for mothers and fathers.

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