A preliminary investigation into the effectiveness of a group delivered sleep management intervention for parents of children with intellectual disabilities

Lucy Stuttard, Bryony Beresford, Susan Clarke, Jennifer Beecham, Julie Curtis (2015)

Journal of Intellectual Disabilities 19 4 342-355


Available online: 19 March 2015

Sleep problems are more prevalent and severe among children with intellectual disabilities and autism compared to typically developing children. Training parents in behavioural approaches to manage sleep problems is advocated. However, delivering such interventions via groups is novel. This article reports the findings from a preliminary evaluation of a group-delivered intervention routinely delivered by a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service Learning Disability team in England. For this purpose, parents (n = 23) of children with intellectual disabilities were recruited. The Children’s Sleep Habits Questionnaire, Parents’ Sense of Competence Scale and parent-set goals captured outcomes at pre-intervention, post-intervention and 3- and 6-month follow-up. Intervention delivery costs were collected. Take-up was high (86%), and no parent dropped out. Statistically significant improvements in night wakings, parent-set goals and parents’ sense of efficacy were observed. The estimated mean cost of delivering each intervention was British (GBP) £1570. Findings suggest the intervention is a low-cost, acceptable service warranting further evaluation.