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Parental and health professional evaluations of a support service for parents of excessively crying infants

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posted on 2019-08-27, 13:37 authored by D Bamber, C Powell, J Long, R Garratt, J Brown, S Rudge, T Morris, N Bhupendra Jaicim, R Plachcinski, S Dyson, E Boyle, N Turney, J Chessman, I St. James-Roberts
Background The ‘Surviving Crying’ study was designed to develop and provisionally evaluate a support service for parents of excessively crying babies, including its suitability for use in the United Kingdom (UK) National Health Service (NHS). The resulting service includes three materials: a website, a printed booklet, and a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) programme delivered to parents by a qualified professional. This study aimed to measure whether parents used the materials and to obtain parents’ and NHS professionals’ evaluations of whether they are fit for purpose. Parents were asked about participating in a randomised controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate the materials fully in health service use. Methods Participants were 57 parents with babies they judged to be crying excessively and 96 NHS Health Visitors (HVs). Parental use and parents’ and HVs’ ratings of the Surviving Crying materials were measured. Results Thirty four parents reported using the website, 24 the printed booklet and 24 the CBT sessions. Parents mostly accessed the website on mobile phones or tablets and use was substantial. All the parents and almost all HVs who provided data judged the materials to be helpful for parents and suitable for NHS use. If offered a waiting list control group, 85% of parents said they would have been willing to take part in a full RCT evaluation of the Surviving Crying package. Discussion and conclusions The findings identify the need for materials to support parents of excessively crying babies within national health services in the UK. The Surviving Crying support package appears suitable for this purpose and a full community-level RCT of the package is feasible and likely to be worthwhile. Limitations to the study and barriers to delivery of the services were identified, indicating improvements needed in future research. Trial registration Study Registration no. ISRCTN84975637.


The authors thank the families who participated, the NIHR HTA Programme for its support, the staff of Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) for their assistance, and our Steering Committee and Management Group for their guidance. In particular, the study could not have taken place without the help of the following LPT staff: Gail Melvin, Research Manager; Lynn Hartwell, Research Nurse; Joanna McGarr, Trainee Research Assistant; the many health visitors who took part. We thank our other UK collaborators: Charlie Owen, University College London; Jan and John Bullen, Cry-sis. De Montfort University acknowledges the support of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network. Department of Health and Social Care Disclaimer This report presents independent research commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) HTA Programme. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the NHS, the NIHR, MRC, CCF, NETSCC, the HTA Programme or the Department of Health and Social Care. Funding This research was supported by Grant 12/150/04 from the National Institute for Health Research HTA Programme. The funder had no role in the study design, in the collection, analysis or interpretation of data, or in writing the manuscript.



BMC Health Services Research, 2019, volume 19, Article number: 592

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The data and access to the Surviving Crying materials are available on request from the Corresponding Author.



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