Investigating the Efficacy of Parent Training Service Delivery Models

Thursday, May 17, 2012
Sheraton Hall (Sheraton Centre Toronto)
3:00 PM
A. L. Wainer and B. Ingersoll, Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Background: The prevalence of an autism spectrum disorders (ASD) diagnosis has increased, yet there has not been a corresponding growth in the dissemination of evidence-based interventions for children with ASD and their families. This has created a substantial service-need discrepancy for this population. Training parents in evidence-based intervention techniques is one way to increase access to services; however, there continue to be significant barriers associated with traditional clinic-based parent training models. As such, it is critical to explore adaptations of traditional service delivery systems in order to improve the reach and accessibility of evidence-based ASD parent training programs.

Objectives: The current study evaluated the efficacy of two different delivery formats of Project ImPACT, an evidence-based social communication parent training curriculum. In particular, this study investigated the effect of the traditional twice per week training format and a condensed once per week training format on the implementation of intervention techniques and program satisfaction.

Methods: Two multiple-baseline, single-subject design studies were conducted to assess the effect of two different delivery formats on participant behavior and experience. The first study investigated the efficacy of a traditional twice-a-week parent training format in 5 parent-child dyads. The second study examined the efficacy of condensed once per-week training format in 3 parent-child dyads.   Participants in both groups were video-recorded practicing the intervention techniques at the end of each training session. Videos were coded for changes in parents’ fidelity of implementation of the intervention techniques. Additionally, data examining parents’ perception of the acceptability, usability, and effectiveness of the program and training format were collected.

Results: Results suggest that parents in both training formats demonstrated gains in fidelity of implementation from baseline to training sessions. Additionally, participants indicated high satisfaction with both training formats.

Conclusions: Project ImPACT is an effective curriculum for improving parents’ ability to implement evidence-based intervention techniques for children with ASD. Both the traditional twice per-week, as well as the condensed once per-week, training formats are effective service delivery systems. Creating and evaluating various service delivery models can help surmount significant barriers and improve the accessibility and impact of intervention programs.

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