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Review: self help, media-based therapy is effective for behaviour problems in children

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QUESTION: Is self help, media-based therapy effective for managing behaviour problems in children and adolescents?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Biological Abstracts, CINAHL, the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Medline, SPECTR, PsycLIT, and Sociofile in 1999; scanning reference lists of articles; and contacting authors.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised or quasi-randomised controlled trials of self help, media based (eg, audiotape, book, computer, manual, videotape, or some combination of these) behavioural therapy for parents or caregivers of children or adolescents with behavioural disorders.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on patients, interventions, and outcomes. Authors were contacted to obtain missing data. The reviewer assessed the quality of study methods.

Main results

9 studies (1 unpublished; 7 randomised, 2 quasi-randomised) met the selection criteria. Follow up ranged from 6 weeks to 2.5 years. Sample sizes ranged from …

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  • Source of funding: National Health Services Executive Anglia and Oxford, UK.

  • For correspondence: Mr P Montgomery, University Section of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Park Hospital for Children, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LQ, UK. Fax +44 (0)1865 762 358.

  • A modified version of this abstract appears in Evidence-Based Mental Health.