Mixed Method Feedback on the Integration of Parent Engagement Strategies into an Evidence-Based Parent Coaching Intervention for Young Children at Risk for ASD

Thursday, May 11, 2017: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Golden Gate Ballroom (Marriott Marquis Hotel)
R. Haine-Schlagel1,2, K. S. Dickson1, S. R. Rieth1,2, L. Brookman-Frazee1,3 and A. C. Stahmer1,4, (1)Child and Adolescent Services Research Center, San Diego, CA, (2)San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, (3)University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA, (4)Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of California at Davis MIND Institute, Sacramento, CA
Background: Parent meditated interventions have numerous positive effects on child/family outcomes and can provide intensive, daily intervention (Burrell & Borrego, 2012). These interventions require active parent engagement (service initiation, attendance, and participation; e.g., Haine-Schlagel & Walsh, 2015). Studies have suggested that specific provider approaches, such as parent-professional collaboration and problem solving, can facilitate parent engagement (Brookman-Frazee, 2004; Burrell, 2013). Little is known about how child-focused providers will perceive training specific to parent engagement, in particular as part of an evidence-based parent coaching intervention for children with ASD.

Objectives: The current study used mixed qualitative and quantitative methods to characterize provider perspectives on parent engagement strategies that were integrated into training on an evidence-based parent coaching intervention for young children at risk for ASD (Project ImPACT for Toddlers or PI for T; Ingersoll & Dvortscak, 2010). The engagement strategies, referred to as Alliance, Collaboration, and Empowerment (ACEs), were adapted from a toolkit initially designed for child mental health services (Haine-Schlagel et al., 2016)

Methods: Agencies serving toddlers with ASD were invited to participate. The first 15 agencies to respond identified an agency leader to learn PI for T and become an agency trainer (AT). Training was delivered over 12 weeks and included two sessions focused exclusively on ACEs. After an additional three months utilizing PI for T independently, ATs received a feedback survey (responses on five-point scale; 1=strongly disagree and 5=strongly agree) and were invited to participate in an interview by someone not involved in training. The survey and interview guide included several questions specifically about ACEs, which are the focus of this study.

Data presented are from the first eight ATs to complete both the survey and interview. ATs were 87.5% female. Modal age range was 36-40; 25% were Hispanic/Latino. Average years of experience was 9.5 (range 4-28); 25% had a PhD and 75% had an MA/MS. Data collection is ongoing and will be completed by the end of 2016.

Results:  Quantitative survey data and qualitative interview data were examined using complementarity (i.e., quantitative provides breadth/qualitative provides depth; Palinkas et al., 2011). Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptives in SPSS; qualitative data are preliminary and currently being analyzed using a Rapid Assessment Process (Beebe, 2001).

Quantitative data (across 3 items) indicate that ATs felt ACEs training was valuable (M=4.125; SD=.711; range 3-5), which was consistent with a complementary qualitative theme that providers found ACEs useful in helping parents and providers work together and found the training materials useful in learning to implement ACEs. Survey results (1 item) also indicated that ATs used ACEs with other families they serve (M=4.375; SD=.518; range 4-5), which was consistent with a complementary theme indicating that ATs used ACEs with other families and planned to train other providers to use ACEs. 

Conclusions:  Both quantitative and qualitative data indicate that early intervention service providers consider training on parent engagement strategies to be useful and generalizable in their practice. Future research can examine whether parent engagement strategies used by providers improve both parent engagement and child outcomes.