Behavioural interventions to help parents manage sleep problems in young disabled children


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This is a summary of a rapid review that was undertaken to examine the effectiveness of behavioural interventions for sleep problems in young disabled children (up to age eight years), specifically interventions that can be carried out by parents in the home.

Nineteen studies were identified, four were RCTs and 15 were before and after studies, most of which had less than 10 participants. Three of the four RCTs had been conducted in a UK setting. The majority of participants had learning disabilities ranging from mild to severe and had serious sleep problems of long-standing duration.

The studies are grouped by type of intervention in the following categories: non-specific behavioural interventions (ie those not focusing on a single behavioural intervention; extinction; sleep restriction; and faded bedtime with response cost. Appendices include details of the search strategy used, details of excluded papers and quality assessment of randomised controlled trials. The review was funded by the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services.

Catriona McDaid
Patricia Slope
Social Policy Research Unit