issue 2 08 - APS Member Groups - Australian Psychological Society

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issue 2 08 - APS Member Groups - Australian Psychological Society

Tuned in parenting63established and a process set up that wouldallow for continual monitoring of theprogramme’s effectiveness.This frameworkwill be described and details of the evaluationresults for the first two groups given.Design of the continuing evaluationprocess. Qualitative analysis of semistructuredinterviews that occurred before andafter the intervention provided outcome datafor the evaluation of the efficacy of the groupprogramme. A wait-listed control group wasalso interviewed. Due to the applied nature ofthe project the assignment to groups wasunable to be randomised. The interventiongroups as planned were too small forquantitative statistical data analyses. Since thewhole programme takes a phenomenologicalapproach, a qualitative methodology isappropriate. Nevertheless, concurrently, amore formal tool to track changes in parentsensitivity and responsiveness is beingdeveloped for later use should circumstanceswarrant more formal evaluation procedures.The evaluation is conducted in line with ethicalrequirements of Curtin University EthicsCommittee and in keeping with those of theAustralian Psychological Society. Theinterview data are supplemented bydemographic information and screeninginstruments.Screening instruments. The Mini-International Neuropsychiatric Interview(MINI) (Sheehan et al., 1997) is a shortdiagnostic structured interview designed togenerate 17 DSM IV or ICD10 Axis 1diagnoses in a 10 to 20 minute interviewdepending on the symptoms presented. Theinterview is used frequently by general medicalpractitioners and has been translated into over30 languages. Good reliability, sensitivity,specificity have been reported in clinical andnormal populations (Lecrubier, Sheehan,Hergueta, & Weiller, 1998). Its function in thisstudy was to provide a psychiatric profile ofthe group participants.A semi-structured interview was devisedfor the purposes of this project drawing uponthe attachment literature (Cooper et al., 2005;Slade, Sadler, & Mayes, 2005). It includedgeneral questions that required participants toreflect on and talk about various aspects ofthe mother-infant relationship, dailyinteractions within that relationship, how themother interpreted her infant’s ambiguousbehavioural cues and how she responded tothem. Many of the questions askedrespondents to provide a specific example orincident, rather than give general responsesthat may lack detail and/or accuracy. Theinterviews were of 25 to 45 minutes’ durationand were recorded on audiotape that was latertranscribed for the purpose of analysis.Evaluation of the Group ProgrammePre-intervention assessments for thecontrol and intervention group participantswere conducted in the fortnight prior to thecommencement of the group. These consistedof the MINI screen, the filming of the parentchildinteraction, and the semi-structuredinterview. Research assistants external to thegroup programme conducted the postintervention group structured interview forgroup members and controls in the weekfollowing the end of the group.ParticipantsTwo intervention groups of six parentinfantdyads each and six control group dyadswere planned, with infants aged between 6 to18 months. Participants were invited to jointhe project based on the presence ofsymptoms of maternal depression orrelationship difficulties with their infantsnoted by clinical staff on exit from theregular programme. For the first group, sixparents agreed to participate in the fullintervention group procedures. Only fouractually began in the group, and one wasforced to withdraw after four sessions due towork commitments. Only one mother agreedto be assessed as a control.The improved identification andrecruitment procedures for the second TIPgroup resulted in seven parents agreeing toparticipate and five continuing for the life ofThe Australian Community Psychologist Volume 20 No 2 December 2008

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