Little All Children in Focus (Little ACF), evaluation of a parental support program for parents of children aged 1-2 years: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

Trials. 2023 Mar 13;24(1):184. doi: 10.1186/s13063-023-07212-4.


Background: Child health and development can be promoted by strengthening and supporting parents. Research on parental support programs based on positive psychology and a health-promoting approach aimed at all parents, and in particular parents of infants is limited. All Children in Focus (ACF) is a parental support program that has been evaluated in a randomized trial in parents of children 3-12 years. The ACF is based on health promotion aiming to increase parents' confidence and child's well-being. In the current study, we will study the effects of a revised version of the ACF called Little ACF adapted to parents with children aged 1-2 years.

Methods: The study includes a randomized controlled trial (RCT) taking place at several Child Health Centers (CHCs) in Sweden. The RCT will evaluate the efficacy of Little ACF (intervention) in comparison with four digital lectures about child development and parenting (active control). Parents are recruited at the 10-, 12-, or 18-month visits to CHC by CHC-nurses. Data to assess changes in parental competencies and child socio-emotional development are collected through online questionnaires completed by parents at five time points: baseline, post-intervention, after 6 and 12 months, and when the child is 3 years old.

Discussion: The paper describes a study protocol of a randomized controlled trial evaluating the effects of a parental support program during infancy. Several issues related to the methodology and implementation are discussed.

Trial registration: NCT05445141. Registered on 6 July 2022.

Keywords: Child health care; Emotional regulation; Health promotion; Infants; Parent group; Parent program; Parent support; Parental self-efficacy; Positive psychology; Universal.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial Protocol

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Development
  • Child, Preschool
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Parent-Child Relations
  • Parenting* / psychology
  • Parents* / psychology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic

Associated data