Background: Children with type 1 diabetes are at increased risk of mental health problems, which in turn are associated with poor glycemic control, diabetes-related complications, and long-term psychiatric morbidity. We tested the efficacy of the Triple P-Positive Parenting Program in reducing or preventing mental health problems and improving glycemic control in children with type 1 diabetes in a randomized controlled trial.
Methods: Participants were recruited from the Diabetes Clinic, Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, and randomized to Triple P or standard diabetes care. The primary outcome was child internalizing and externalizing behavior problems 3 and 12 months postrandomization. Secondary outcomes were glycemic control, parent mental health, parenting skills, and family functioning at 3 and 12 months, and glycemic control at 24 months.
Results: A total of 76 participants were randomized (38 to intervention and 38 to control), 60 completed 3-month, and 57 completed 12-month assessments. Benefits of Triple P were evident at 3 months for parent mental health, parenting skills, and family functioning (p < 0.05), but not for child mental health or glycemic control, with little effect at 12 months. Prespecified subgroup analyses for children with pre-existing internalizing or externalizing behavior problems indicated greater improvements in child mental health, parent mental health, parenting skills, and diabetes family conflict (p < 0.05), but lower parenting self-efficacy at 3 months. Improvements in parent mental health and parenting competency associated with Triple P were sustained to 12 months for children with pre-existing mental health problems.
Conclusions: This study provides some support for the efficacy of Triple P in improving parent and family outcomes, and reducing child internalizing and externalizing behavior problems primarily in children who have pre-existing mental health problems.
Keywords: child behavior; parent mental health; parenting; type 1 diabetes.
© 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.