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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 97, Issue 6, pp 454–458 | Cite as

What Is the Evidence for Parenting Interventions Offered in a Canadian Community?

  • John D. McLennan
  • John N. Lavis
Article

Abstract

Background

The evidence supporting interventions offered in the community is often not examined. This study examines the evidence base supporting parenting interventions offered in a Canadian community and, in so doing, illustrates a community assessment mechanism that could be applied routinely for other psychosocial interventions.

Methods

An inventory of all manual-guided, group-based parenting interventions offered in a moderate-sized Canadian city was developed by reviewing existing community information guides and contacting key providers of parenting programs. Interventions offered between July 1, 2000 and June 30, 2001 were selected for evaluation. Evaluation reports for each intervention were assessed by two independent raters using a modification of the Effective Public Health Practice Project Quality Assessment Tool.

Results

Twelve parenting interventions were offered in the study community. Only three (25%) had been evaluated with at least one randomized controlled trial. No evaluation identified an a priori primary outcome measure to assess effectiveness. Multiple statistical testing without including a correction factor limits confidence in the robustness of the small number of positive results. Under-powered evaluations were common. Three interventions had only post-intervention client satisfaction data. The study community used none of the existing parenting interventions that are supported by extensive empirical evidence of efficacy.

Interpretation

There is a substantial research-practice gap in the parenting interventions offered in the study community. Similar community assessments could be used to spur debates within other communities about how best to reduce the research-practice gap.

MeSHterms

Evidence-based medicine; child; evaluation studies; health services; parenting 

Résumé

Contexte

Il est rare que l’on examine les données probantes sur lesquelles reposent les interventions communautaires. C’est pourquoi nous avons examiné les données probantes à l’appui des cours d’enseignement du rôle parental donnés dans une ville canadienne. Notre étude présente par la même occasion un mécanisme d’évaluation communautaire qui pourrait s’appliquer systématiquement à d’autres mesures d’intervention psychosociale.

Méthode

Pour dresser un inventaire complet des cours d’enseignement du rôle parental reposant sur un manuel et offerts en groupe dans une ville canadienne de taille moyenne, nous avons examiné les guides d’information communautaire existants et pris contact avec les principaux fournisseurs de programmes d’enseignement du rôle parental. Notre évaluation a porté sur les cours offerts entre le 1er juillet 2000 et le 30 juin 2001. Les rapports d’évaluation de chaque cours ont été examinés par deux noteurs indépendants à l’aide d’une version modifiée de l’outil d’évaluation de la qualité du projet EPHPP (Effective Public Health Practice Project).

Résultats

Douze cours d’enseignement du rôle parental avaient été offerts dans la ville à l’étude. Trois seulement (25%) avaient fait l’objet d’au moins une étude randomisée et contrôlée. Aucune de ces études n’avait défini au préalable de mesure primaire des résultats pour déterminer l’efficacité du cours. Or, l’exécution de plusieurs tests statistiques sans facteur de correction fait en sorte qu’on ne peut se fier complètement au petit nombre de résultats positifs enregistrés. De nombreuses évaluations accusaient des faiblesses importantes sur le plan méthodologique. Pour trois des cours, nous n’avons trouvé que des données sur la satisfaction des clients, recueillies à la fin du programme. Dans la ville à l’étude, on n’a utilisé aucun programme d’enseignement du rôle parental dont l’efficacité était démontrée par des preuves empiriques.

Interprétation

Il existait un écart considérable entre la recherche et la pratique dans les cours d’enseignement du rôle parental offerts dans la ville à l’étude. On pourrait utiliser des évaluations communautaires semblables pour susciter des discussions dans d’autres collectivités sur les meilleurs moyens de réduire l’écart entre la recherche et la pratique.

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departments of Paediatrics, Psychiatry and Community Health Sciences, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Departments of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics and Political ScienceMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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