The effectiveness of a psychoeducation intervention delivered via WhatsApp for mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: a randomized controlled trial

Hemdi, A. and Daley, David (2017) The effectiveness of a psychoeducation intervention delivered via WhatsApp for mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: a randomized controlled trial. Child: Care, Health and Development . ISSN 1365-2214

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Abstract

Background

Mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) report high levels of stress and lower levels of well-being than parents of typically developing children. Current interventions for ASD typically focus on working with the child rather than delivering strategies to help support parents.

Objective

To evaluate the effectiveness of a psychoeducation intervention developed to support mothers of children with ASD in Saudi Arabia.

Method

Sixty-two mothers (23–52 years) of children (26–78 months) were recruited to a multisite randomized controlled trials of the intervention. The intervention consisted of one face-to-face session (60 min) and four virtual sessions (30 min each) delivered using WhatsApp. Parenting stress was the primary outcome, with secondary outcomes focusing on maternal depression, anxiety, and happiness, and child behaviour problems and ASD symptoms. Data were collected at baseline T1, immediately postintervention T2 and 8-week follow-up T3.

Results

One-way analysis of covariance was used at T2 and T3 with T1 scores entered as a covariate. Improvements were found at T2 for stress (F = 234.34, p = .00, and d = −1.52) and depression (F = 195.70, p = .00, and d = −2.14) but not anxiety, and these results were maintained at T3. Changes in child behaviour problems were limited to improvements in hyperactivity at T2 (F = 133.66, p = .00, and d = −1.54). Although changes in stress and depression were statistically significant, change to clinically normal levels was limited to depression. None of the participants had recovered after the intervention (Parent Stress Index Short Form stress scores), whereas 23 mothers (71.87%) in the intervention group had recovered at T2 and 22 (68.75%) at T3 (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale depression scores).

Conclusion

This intervention with WhatsApp support is beneficial but may need to be augmented with other forms of support for mothers of children with ASD including more condensed sessions on stress and interventions targeting anxiety.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Hemdi A, Daley D. The Effectiveness of a Psychoeducation Intervention delivered via WhatsApp for mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A randomized controlled trial. Child Care Health Dev. 2017;1–9. https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12520, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/cch.12520. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Keywords: ASD; Autism spectrum disorder; Interventions; Mothers; Training; Well-being
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology
Identification Number: 10.1111/cch.12520
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2017 08:40
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 08:47
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/46729

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