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Effects of psychosocial stimulation on improving home environment and child-rearing practices: results from a community-based trial among severely malnourished children in Bangladesh
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
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2012 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 12, 622- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Parenting programmes are effective in enhancing parenting practices and child development. This study evaluated the effects of a intervention with psychosocial stimulation (PS) on the quality of the home environment and mothers' child-rearing practices in a community-based trial with severely malnourished Bangladeshi children. Method: Severely underweight children (n = 507), 6-24 months of age, were randomly assigned to five groups: PS; food supplementation (FS); PS + FS; clinic-control (CC); and, hospital-control (CH). PS included fortnightly follow-up visits for six months at community clinics where a play leader demonstrated play activities and gave education on child development and child rearing practices. FS comprised cereal-based supplements (150-300 kcal/day) for three months. All groups received medical care, micronutrient supplements and growth monitoring. Mothers were given the Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment (HOME) inventory and a questionnaire on parenting at baseline and after six months to assess the outcome. Results: 322 children completed the study. After six months of intervention the PS + FS and PS groups benefitted in the total HOME score (depending on the comparison group, effect sizes varied from 0.66 to 0.33 SD) The PS + FS and PS groups also benefitted in two HOME subscales: maternal involvement (effect sizes: 0.8 to 0.55 SD) and play materials, (effect sizes: 0.46 to 0.6 SD), and child-rearing practices scores (effect size: 1.5 to 1.1 SD). The PS + FS group benefitted 4.0 points in total HOME score compared with CH, 4.8 points compared with CC and 4.5 points compared with FS (p < 0.001 for all). The PS group benefitted 2.4 points compared with CH (p = 0.035), 3.3 points compared with CC (p = 0.004), and 2.9 points compared with FS (p = 0.006). Child-rearing practice scores of the PS + FS group improved 7.7, 6.4 and 6.6 points and the PS group improved 8.5, 7.2 and 7.4 points more than CH, CC and FS, respectively (p < 0.001 for all). Conclusions: Child-rearing practices of mothers of severely malnourished children and the quality of their home environment can be improved through community-based psychosocial stimulation with or without food supplementation. This may be of importance to promote child development.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 12, 622- p.
Keyword [en]
HOME, Child-rearing practices, Psychosocial stimulation, Food supplementation, Community-based intervention, Bangladesh
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191064DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-622ISI: 000312002500001OAI: diva2:585534
Available from: 2013-01-10 Created: 2013-01-09 Last updated: 2013-01-10Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Effects of Food Supplementation and Psychosocial Stimulation on Growth and Development of Severely Malnourished Children: Intervention Studies in Bangladesh
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Effects of Food Supplementation and Psychosocial Stimulation on Growth and Development of Severely Malnourished Children: Intervention Studies in Bangladesh
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Early childhood malnutrition is a global public health problem with serious short- and long-term consequences. The aim of this thesis is to evaluate the effects of psychosocial stimulation (PS) with or without food supplementation (FS) on growth and development of severely malnourished children, quality of home environment, mother’s child-rearing practices and depressive symptoms. The study setting was Dhaka, Bangladesh, and the participants were severely malnourished children, aged 6-24 months, admitted at Dhaka Hospital of the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B). A hospital-based study was conducted in Nutrition Rehabilitation Unit of ICDDR,B hospital, where a control group (n=43) was studied initially, followed by an intervention group (n=54). All received standard nutrition rehabilitation care. The intervention group received daily group meetings and play sessions in the hospital, and was thereafter visited at home for 6 months. A community-based randomised trial was conducted including children (n=507) admitted at hospital for initial treatment of an acute infection, and thereafter assigned to PS, FS, PS+FS, clinic control or hospital control groups. PS was delivered at follow-up visits, fortnightly for 6 months at community clinics. FS included distribution of cereal-based food packets (150–300 kcal/day depending on age) for 3 months. All groups received standard medical care and micronutrient supplementation. In the hospital-based study, the intervention group had significantly higher scores in mental (p<0.001, effect size 0.52 SD) and motor development (p=0.047, effect size 0.37 SD), and weight (p=0.03, effect size 0.39 SD), after 6- months intervention. In the community-based trial, there was a significant effect of stimulation after six months of intervention on children’s mental development (group*session interaction p=0.037, effect size=0.37 SD) and weight (group*session interaction p=0.02, effect size=0.26 SD) but no effect on motor development or linear growth. The PS+FS and PS groups differed in total HOME score, two HOME subscales (maternal involvement and play materials), and in mother’s child- rearing practices scores but not in depressive symptoms. PS with or without FS had small improvement on children’s growth and development, quality of home environment and mother’s rearing-practices of severely malnourished children. More intensive interventions with longer duration are therefore recommended.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. 59 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 786
Psychosocial stimulation, food supplementation, HOME, child-rearing practices, maternal depressive symptoms, severe malnutrition, Bangladesh
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Research subject
International Health
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-174833 (URN)978-91-554-8398-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-09-05, Rosensalen, Akademiska sjukhuset, entrance 95/96 lower ground, Uppsala, 09:15 (English)
Available from: 2012-06-14 Created: 2012-05-29 Last updated: 2013-01-10

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