Therapist-assisted online treatment for child conduct problems in rural and urban families: Two randomized controlled trials.

Objective: We examined the relative efficacy of an online versus face-to-face (FTF) parenting intervention for reducing the severity of child conduct problems and related parent and child outcomes in 2 randomized controlled trials. Method: In Study 1, rural families (n = 133) with a child 3–9 years of age with a full or subclinical primary diagnosis of oppositional defiant or conduct disorder traveled to Sydney, Australia for a comprehensive assessment and randomization to receive either AccessEI, a 6–10 week online therapist-assisted parenting program, or FTF treatment, whereby they received the same program presented FTF during a 1-week treatment. To control for unavoidable treatment dosage differences in the first study, Study 2 was conducted in which urban families (n = 73) with a child aged 3 to 14 years meeting similar criteria as Study 1 were randomized to receive AccessEI versus FTF treatment. Results: In both studies, improvements in severity of child diagnoses and maternal measures of child behavior showed very large effect sizes for both treatments at posttreatment and 3-month follow-up and did not differ across treatment conditions. There were moderate effect sizes for improvements in parent mental health and no differences across treatment conditions. Conclusions: It is concluded that the effects of the therapist-assisted online parenting interventions for the treatment of child conduct problems were similar to a FTF intervention, providing evidence for the effectiveness of an accessible treatment for rural and remote families. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)