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Dickinson C, Whittingham K, Sheffield J, Wotherspoon J, Boyd RN. Efficacy of interventions to improve psychological adjustment for parents of infants with or at risk of neurodevelopmental disability: A systematic review. Infant Ment Health J. 2020 Sep;41(5):697-722. doi: 10.1002/imhj.21871. Epub 2020 Jun 25. PMID: 32583882.

Background: Supportive and targeted interventions for families are required to optimize parental adjustment and the parent-infant relationship in line with earlier diagnosis of neurodevelopmental risk for infants.

Aims: The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the efficacy of interventions in improving psychological adjustment and well-being for parents who have an infant diagnosed with or at risk of neurodevelopmental disability.

Methods: The Cochrane Review Group search strategy was followed with search of The Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and Embase between July and December 2017. Methodological quality of included articles was assessed using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) Scale by two independent reviewers.

Results: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. A small number of high-quality trials demonstrated moderate to large effectiveness of reducing adverse parent psychological symptoms of trauma and stress. Significant improvements in depression and anxiety symptoms emerged at longer-term (6 months to 8 years) follow-up postinterventions.

Conclusions: There is promising support for the effectiveness of some interventions to reduce maladaptive psychological symptoms in parents with infants diagnosed at risk of neurodevelopmental disability. Further quality RCTs of psychological interventions addressing broader neurodevelopmental risk conditions for infants are required.

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