Background/aims We developed a novel, long-term condition-specific Interactive Health Communication Application, the on- line parent information and support (OPIS) to promote parents’ home-based management ability. We aimed to assess feasibility of a future full-scale randomised clinical trial (RCT) of OPIS in terms of recruitment, retention and data collection procedures; and investigate trends in change on outcomes in a small-scale preliminary RCT in parents.
Methods Parents were randomly assigned to: usual support (control) or usual support plus OPIS access for 20 weeks (intervention). Both groups completed study measures at study entry (T1) and exit (T2). We assessed feasibility between groups.
Results 55 parents of 39 children enrolled in the RCT;19/26 (73%) of intervention parents and 22/29 (76%) of control parents completed T2 data collection. The overall retention rate was 41/55 (75%). Data collection was judged to be feasible. All intervention parents showed evidence of having accessed OPIS, indicating complete uptake. The intent-to-treat analysis showed greater improvement in self-efficacy to manage their child’s condition for intervention parents when compared to control group parents (3.21 v 1.09, 95% CI -1.27 to 5.51, Cohen’s d =.41).
Conclusion A full-scale RCT of OPIS is feasible. OPIS has the potential to beneficially affect self-reported outcomes including parents’ competence to provide home-based clinical care-givin. ll-scale RCT that is sufficiently powered to detect the effects of OPIS on outcomes is indicated. Our design and methodology could potentially be transferred to the management of other conditions.
Acknowledgements Families and professionals who participated and the National Institute of Health Research for funding support.