Replacing home visits with telephone calls to support parents implementing a sleep management intervention: findings from a pilot study and implications for future research

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Background - Resource constraints may inhibit the provision of appropriate interventions for children with neurodisabilities presenting with behavioural sleep problems. Telephone calls (TC), as opposed to home visits (HV), may be a more resource efficient means of supporting these families.
Objective - To conduct a preliminary investigation exploring the feasibility and acceptability of replacing HV with TC to support parents implementing sleep management strategies and to gather evidence to inform the design and methods of a full trial.
Methods - Parents referred to a sleep management intervention routinely delivered by a community paediatric team were alternately allocated to receive implementation support via HV (n = 7) or TC (n = 8). Activity logs recorded the frequency, duration and mode of support. Parents and practitioners were interviewed about their experiences of receiving/delivering the intervention.
Results - Intervention drop-out was low, the frequency, number of contacts and intervention duration appeared comparable. Parents allocated TC received less contact time. Parents valued implementation support irrespective of delivery mode and practitioners reported that despite initial reservations, implementation support via TC appeared to work well.
Conclusions - TC appears an acceptable and convenient mode of delivering sleep support, valued by both parents and practitioners. We recommend a full-scale trial to investigate effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalChild: Care, Health & Development
Early online date10 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • disabled children
  • sleep problems
  • parents
  • intervention
  • neurodisability

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