Using a blended format (videoconference and face to face) to deliver a group psychosocial intervention to parents of autistic children
AffiliationUniversity of Bedfordshire
Subject Categories::L510 Health & Welfare
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AbstractBackground Parents and carers of autistic children report poor mental health. Autism stigma is a strong contributing factor to poor parental mental health, yet there are currently no interventions available that are evidenced to improve parents' mental health in part through increasing resilience to stigma. Childcare and travel are well known barriers to attendance and attrition rates for this population are high. Methods A blended format psychosocial group support intervention was developed with the aim to improve parental mental health. Three sessions were delivered face to face, and five sessions via videoconference. A secret Facebook group was set up to support the intervention and increase retention rates. Mixed methods were used to assess the feasibility and acceptability of this mode of delivery for both the facilitator and service users. Attendance rates, fidelity and implementation issues are discussed. A qualitative focus group was conducted (n = 9) to explore the acceptability to the participants. Framework analysis was used to analyse the findings. Results Attendance rates were high with the online sessions having significantly higher attendance rates than the face to face sessions. The findings of the qualitative evaluation suggest that participants are positive about videoconferencing for a group support intervention. The facilitator reported sound quality, background distractions and late arrivals as challenges; the participants on the other hand, reported that the benefits far outweighed the negatives. Suggestions for improvement are made. Conclusions The results suggest that videoconference is a well-received method to provide a group support intervention to parents. Only preliminary conclusions can be drawn, owing to the small sample size.
CitationLodder A, Papadopoulos C, Randhawa G (2020) 'Using a blended format (videoconference and face to face) to deliver a group psychosocial intervention to parents of autistic children', Internet Interventions, 21, 100336.
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