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Res Dev Disabil. 2003 Nov-Dec;24(6):405-31.

Promoting health and home safety for children of parents with intellectual disability: a randomized controlled trial.

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School of Occupation and Leisure Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe 1825, NSW, Australia.


The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of a home-based intervention targeted to parents with intellectual disability to promote child health and home safety in the preschool years. A total of 63 parents were recruited for the study with 45 parents (40 mothers and 5 fathers) from 40 families completing the project. The research design permitted comparison between the intervention and three alternative conditions with all parents receiving the intervention in an alternating sequence over the life of the project. The intervention consisted of 10 weekly lessons carried out in the parent's home focusing on child health and home safety. The program was adapted to suit the Australian context from the UCLA Parent--Child Health and Wellness Project (Tymchuk, Groen, & Dolyniuk, 2000). Outcome measures assessed parental health and safety behaviours. Standard measures included parental health, intelligence and literacy. The intervention improved parents' ability to recognize home dangers, to identify precautions to deal with these dangers and resulted in a significant increase in the number of safety precautions parents implemented in their homes with all gains being maintained at 3 months post-intervention. Parents' health behaviours including improved understanding of health and symptoms of illness, knowledge of and skills needed to manage life-threatening emergencies, knowledge about visiting the doctor, knowing when to call, what information to provide and what questions to ask, and how to use medicines safely significantly increased. Again, all gains were maintained 3 months post-intervention. The intervention was effective regardless of parental health, literacy skills, and IQ. This form of home-based intervention promotes a healthy and safe environment which is a prerequisite to continuing parental custody.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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