Barlow J, Johnston I, Kendrick D, Polnay L, Stewart-Brown S
This Systematic Review is available to download as a PDF: Individual and group-based parenting programmes for the treatment of physical child abuse and neglect
Child physical abuse and neglect are important public health problems for which there are currently few effective treatments. Many of the risk factors for child abuse and neglect are not amenable to change in the short term. Intervening to change parenting practices may,however, be important in its treatment. Parenting programmes are focused, short-term interventions aimed at improving parenting practices, and may therefore be useful in the treatment of physically abusive or neglectful parenting.
To assess the efficacy of group-based or one-to-one parenting programmes in addressing child physical abuse or neglect.
A range of biomedical and social science databases were searched including MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, PsychINFO, Sociofile,Social Science Citation Index, ASSIA, the Cochrane Library, Campbell Library (including SPECTR and CENTRAL), National Research Register (NRR) and ERIC, from inception to May 2005.
Only randomised controlled trials or randomised studies evaluating the effectiveness of standardised group-based or one-to-one parenting programmes aimed at the treatment of physical child abuse or neglect were included.
Data collection and analysis
The results for each outcome in each study have been presented, with 95% confidence intervals.
A total of seven studies of variable quality were included in this review. Only three studies assessed the effectiveness of parenting programmes on objective measures of abuse (e.g. the incidence of child abuse, number of injuries, or reported physical abuse), and only one of these found significant differences between the intervention and control groups.