Caregiving for Children through Conflict and Displacement: A pilot study testing the feasibility of delivering and evaluating a light touch parenting intervention for caregivers in the West Bank

A child’s adjustment to wartime stress is reliant not only on individual responses and qualities, but very significantly on the availability of support that they may receive from their parent or caregivers and quality of relationships. Strengthening parental support has the potential to be valuable. A pilot two-arm randomised controlled trial investigated the feasibility of delivering and evaluating the “Caring for Children Through Conflict and Displacement” intervention with caregivers in the West Bank. Feasibility to recruit and train non-specialist staff on-the-ground to screen families for eligibility, collect outcome data, deliver the intervention and to recruit and retain families in the study were examined. Research staff and intervention facilitators were successfully appointed in the held, screened participants and delivered the intervention to 120 caregivers, collecting outcome measures pre-and post-delivery. All families completed the outcome measures, with very little missing data. This indicated that the intervention can be delivered feasibly and evaluated with families in this humanitarian context. Preliminary outcome data showed promise that the intervention may have the potential to both improve family functioning and reduce children’s problem behaviour. Implications of family-focused initiatives, particularly within a conflict/post-conflict context for the prevention of several negative health and social outcomes directions, are discussed.

Published 2019-06-10