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Infant Ment Health J. 2012 Mar;33(2):110-122. doi: 10.1002/imhj.20340.

A randomized control trial of integrated care for families managing infant colic.

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Women & Infants Hospital, Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk and Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University.
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children's Hospital.
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University and Bradley Hospital.


This article presents a randomized clinical trial examining the effectiveness of a unique model of integrated care for the treatment of infant colic. Families seeking help for infant colic were randomized to either the family-centered treatment (TX; n = 31) or standard pediatric care (SC; n = 31). All parents completed 3 days of Infant Behavior Diaries (Barr et al., 1998) and the Colic Symptom Checklist (Lester, 1997), Beck Depression Inventory (Beck & Steer, 1984), and Parenting Stress Index 3rd ed.-SF (Abidin, 1995). TX families were seen three times by a pediatrician and a mental health clinician within 1, 2, and 6 weeks of baseline data. TX families received individualized treatment plans addressing problem areas of sleep, feeding, routine, and family mental health. SC families were seen only by their own healthcare provider. All families were visited at home by a research assistant to retrieve data at 2, 6, and 10 weeks after baseline. Family-based treatment accelerated the rate of reduction of infant crying faster than did standard pediatric care. Infants in the TX group had more hours of sleep at 2 weeks posttreatment and spent less time feeding at 2, 6, and 10 weeks posttreatment than did SC infants. Results indicate that individualized family-based treatment reduces infant colic more rapidly than does standard pediatric care.


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