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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2013 Nov;22(11):653-70. doi: 10.1007/s00787-013-0401-2. Epub 2013 Apr 6.

Barriers to, and facilitators of, parenting programmes for childhood behaviour problems: a qualitative synthesis of studies of parents' and professionals' perceptions.

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  • 1Developmental Brain-Behaviour Laboratory, Institute for Disorders of Impulse and Attention, School of Psychology, University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK,


Disruptive behaviour problems (DBPs) during childhood exert a high burden on individuals, families and the community as a whole. Reducing this impact is a major public health priority. Early parenting interventions are recommended as valuable ways to target DBPs; however, low take-up of, and high drop-out rates from, these programmes seriously reduce their effectiveness. We present a review of published qualitative evidence relating to factors that block or facilitate access and engagement of parents with such programmes using a thematic synthesis approach. 12 papers presenting views of both parents and professionals met our inclusion and quality criteria. A large number of barriers were identified highlighting the array of challenges parents can face when considering accessing and engaging with treatment for their child with behavioural problems. Facilitating factors in this area were also identified. A series of recommendations were made with regard to raising awareness of programmes and recruiting parents, providing flexible and individually tailored support, delivering programmes through highly skilled, trained and knowledgeable therapists, and highlighting factors to consider when delivering group-based programmes. Clinical guidelines should address barriers and facilitators of engagement as well as basic efficacy of treatment approaches.

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