Treating sleep problems in young children: A randomised controlled trial of a group-based, parent-focused behavioural sleep intervention

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Donovan, Caroline L
Shiels, Amy
Legg, Melissa
Meltzer, Lisa J
Farrell, Lara J
Waters, Allison M
Gradisar, Michael
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2023
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https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Abstract

This study tested the efficacy of a 5 × 1.5 h/session, group-based, parent-focused, behavioural intervention (BI) targeting sleep problems in preschool children. Parents were randomised to either the BI (N = 62) or care as usual (CAU; N = 66) conditions. Outcomes included sleep, anxiety, behavioural problems, internalising and externalising symptoms, transition to school and academic achievement. Assessments were conducted at pre- and post-BI intervention (in the year prior to formal schooling), and then at follow-ups 1 and 2 in the first year of formal schooling. Relative to the CAU, the BI condition demonstrated significantly greater improvements in sleep, anxiety, behaviour problems and internalising and externalising symptoms from pre-to post-intervention. Improvements in sleep, anxiety, and internalising symptoms were maintained, while behaviour and externalising symptoms were further improved upon at school follow-up 2. For the BI group, improvements in sleep at post-intervention were found to mediate improvements in anxiety, internalising, and externalising symptoms, but not behaviour problems, at school follow-ups 1 and 2. There were no significant effects of condition on school transition or academic outcome measures. The results suggest that the BI is effective for sleep, anxiety, behaviour, internalising and externalising symptoms, but not for school transition or academic outcomes. ANZCTR number: ACTRN12618001161213.

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Behaviour Research and Therapy
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© 2023. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
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Clinical and health psychology
Cognitive and computational psychology
Social and personality psychology
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Psychology, Clinical
Psychology
sleep problems
Young children
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Donovan, CL; Shiels, A; Legg, M; Meltzer, LJ; Farrell, LJ; Waters, AM; Gradisar, M, Treating sleep problems in young children: A randomised controlled trial of a group-based, parent-focused behavioural sleep intervention, Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2023, 167, pp. 104366
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