To assess the feasibility and acceptability of an online parenting-skills program for caregivers of young children with traumatic brain injury (TBI). Positive parenting contributes to recovery following early TBI and social and emotional development in typically developing children. Yet, few interventions have been designed to support psychosocial recovery and subsequent development after early TBI.
This study protocol was registered with clinicaltrials.gov (NCT05160194). We utilized an academic hospital’s Trauma Registry to recruit caregivers of children, ages 0–4 years, previously hospitalized for TBI. The GROW intervention integrated six online learning modules with videoconference meetings with a coach to review and practice skills while receiving in vivo coaching and feedback. Interactive modules addressed strategies for responsive parenting, stimulating cognition, and managing parenting stress. Enrollment and retention rates served as feasibility metrics and satisfaction surveys assessed acceptability.
18 of 72 families contacted (25%) consented, and 11 of 18 (61%) completed the intervention and follow-up assessments. All participants rated the intervention as helpful and indicated that they would recommend the intervention to others. All endorsed a better understanding of brain injury and how to optimize their child’s recovery and development. Both coaches rated intervention delivery as comparable to traditional face-to-face treatment.
Low levels of uptake and initial engagement underscore the challenges of intervening with caregivers following early TBI, which likely were exacerbated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. High levels of acceptability and perceived benefit support the potential utility of GROW while highlighting the need to improve accessibility and early engagement.