Triple P for baby: the relationship between baseline participant characteristics and retention

Kerri McPherson, Matthew Sanders, Kareena McAloney-Kocaman, Kirsty Wiseman

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


There is substantial evidence in the literature that targeting parents is an appropriate and effective method of early intervention for the prevention and treatment of family- and child-related problems; however, parental engagement rates (recruitment and retention) have been problematic. Recruitment of parents to preventative parenting interventions typically sits at around 20-25% of the eligible population and subsequent intervention completion rates can be as low as 50%. An individual’s decision to enrol and participate in a parenting intervention is influenced by numerous interlinked individual, family and social factors, but it is often reported that engagement rates are lowest in families with the greatest need of intervention. Importantly, engagement difficulties may be amplified in research trials designed to assess the effectiveness of interventions because participant burden is increased by the necessity of data collection. Moreover, there is very little evidence about engagement of parents in the context of antenatal interventions.   Triple P for Baby is an intervention that aims to prevent parental psychopathology by reducing parental stress associated with the transition to parenthood. A randomized controlled trial to test the efficacy of
the intervention is currently underway in Glasgow. The intervention was elivered in the antenatal phase to first-time mothers and their partners. While the intervention phase is now complete, a range of issues have arisen over the course of the trial in relation to recruitment and retention.  We will present data from the on-going Triple P for Baby trial with the aim of exploring trends in the
relationship between baseline participant characteristics and retention status (i.e. remained in the trial versus dropped out) at the post-intervention assessment time point. The focus will be on key baseline variables such as: age, ethnicity, socio-economic status, relationship status (i.e. married versus living
together), relationship longevity and perceptions of available social support. Understanding predictors of parental engagement is an important for both researchers and policy makers who would want to implement strategies to maximize the number of parents who enrol and complete antenatal
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • parental stress
  • intervention
  • preventive parenting interventions


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