Managing challenging behaviour in preschool children post-traumatic brain injury with online clinician support: Protocol for a pilot study
© 2017 The Author(s). Background: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children is associated with a range of poor long-term outcomes, including behavioural disturbances. Parents can experience high levels of stress and injury-related burden, and evidence suggests that distressed parents are less likely to adopt positive parenting styles to manage their child's behaviour. The 'Signposts for Building Better Behaviour' program is a parenting programme that was originally developed to assist parents of children with an intellectual disability in managing their child's behaviour. More recently, it has been adapted to include a TBI module, to assist parents in managing post-TBI behaviour. However, geographical and financial barriers remain, preventing many parents from accessing the programme in the standard face-to-face modality. This project aims to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of the programme when delivered with clinician support via videoconferencing. Methods/design: The sample for this feasibility study will be recruited from the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, and the Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service. Participants will be the parents of a child who sustained a TBI between the ages of 2.0 and 6.11, within the previous 2 years. The parents of 15 children will complete the programme, with clinician support via videoconferencing, while the parents of a further 15 children will form a treatment as usual wait-list control group. Parents complete questionnaires assessing their child's behaviour, as well as assessing their own mental health, sense of parenting competency, disciplinary style, and family functioning. These will be completed upon enrolment in the study regarding their child's pre-injury behaviour and then again pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention, and 4 months post-intervention. Parents who complete the intervention will also complete questionnaires assessing their satisfaction with the programme and its delivery. Information will be collected on the feasibility, clinical practicality, and acceptability of the programme when delivered through this medium. Discussion: This study is the first to investigate the feasibility of delivering post-child TBI behavioural intervention via videoconferencing in Australia. Preliminary findings from this study may support the development of a larger randomised controlled trial. It is hoped that programme delivery through this medium would facilitate better access to the programme, enabling improved long-term outcomes for families.