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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2008 Aug;42(8):712-9. doi: 10.1080/00048670802206320.

Pilot evaluation of parent-child interaction therapy delivered in an Australian community early childhood clinic setting.

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  • 1Karitane, PO Box 241, Villawood, NSW 2163, Australia.



Parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT) is a short-term, evidence-based parent training intervention used widely in the treatment of behaviourally disordered preschool-aged children. Outcome studies have shown PCIT to be associated with lasting improvements in child and sibling behaviours and in the interactional styles, stress levels, confidence, and psychological functioning of parents. To date, however, all outcome studies have been conducted in university research clinic settings, and therefore understanding about the effectiveness of PCIT applied in a real-world setting has been limited. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of PCIT delivered to families in an Australian community-based early childhood clinic.


Participants included 43 families with children aged 19-52 months who were referred for treatment of disruptive child behaviours and who completed PCIT treatment at the Karitane Toddler Clinic, in Sydney, Australia. Parents provided pre- and post-treatment ratings of child behaviours, parental stress, parental psychopathology and parental attitudes to therapy.


At the end of the programme, clinically and statistically significant improvements were seen in child behaviours and parental well-being, and parents reported high levels of satisfaction with treatment.


Implications for the implementation of PCIT programmes in community-based settings are discussed and areas of further research are identified.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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