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Title: The efficacy of wechat-based parenting training on the psychological well-being of mothers with children with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic: Quasi-experimental study
Authors: Liu, Guihua
Wang, Shuo
Liao, Jinhua
Ou, Ping
Huang, Longsheng
Xie, Namei
He, Yingshuang
Lin, Jinling
He, Hong-Gu 
Hu, Rongfang
Keywords: Anxiety
Autism spectrum disorder
Coronavirus disease 2019
Mental health
Parenting training
Psychological well-being
Social media
Issue Date: 10-Feb-2021
Publisher: JMIR Publications Inc.
Citation: Liu, Guihua, Wang, Shuo, Liao, Jinhua, Ou, Ping, Huang, Longsheng, Xie, Namei, He, Yingshuang, Lin, Jinling, He, Hong-Gu, Hu, Rongfang (2021-02-10). The efficacy of wechat-based parenting training on the psychological well-being of mothers with children with autism during the COVID-19 pandemic: Quasi-experimental study. JMIR Mental Health 8 (2) : e23917. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
Abstract: Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, special education schools for children in most areas of China were closed between the end of January and the beginning of June in 2020. The sudden interruption in schooling and the pandemic itself caused parents to be anxious and even to panic. Mobile-based parenting skills education has been demonstrated to be an effective method for improving the psychological well-being of mothers with children with autism. However, whether it can improve the psychological states of mothers in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic is a subject that should be urgently investigated. Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of WeChat-based parenting training on anxiety, depression, parenting stress, and hope in mothers with children with autism, as well as the feasibility of the program during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This was a quasi-experimental trial. A total of 125 mothers with preschool children with autism were recruited in January 2020. The participants were assigned to the control group (n=60), in which they received routine care, or the intervention group (n=65), in which they received the 12-week WeChat-based parenting training plus routine care, according to their preferences. Anxiety, depression, parenting stress, hope, satisfaction, and adherence to the intervention were measured at three timepoints: baseline (T0), postintervention (T1), and a 20-week follow-up (T2). Results: In total, 109 mothers completed the T1 assessment and 104 mothers completed the T2 assessment. The results of the linear mixed model analysis showed statistically significant group × time interaction effects for the intervention on anxiety (F=14.219, P<.001), depression (F=26.563, P<.001), parenting stress (F=68.572, P<.001), and hope (F=197.608, P<.001). Of all mothers in the intervention group, 90.4% (48.8/54) reported that they were extremely satisfied with the WeChat-based parenting training. In total, 40.0% (26/65) logged their progress in home training each week and 61.5% (40/65) logged their progress more than 80% of the time for all 20 weeks. Conclusions: The WeChat-based parenting training is acceptable and appears to be an effective approach for reducing anxiety, depression, and parenting stress, as well as increasing hope in mothers with children with autism during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Future studies with rigorous designs and longer follow-up periods are needed to further detect the effectiveness of the WeChat-based parenting training. © Guihua Liu, Shuo Wang, Jinhua Liao, Ping Ou, Longsheng Huang, Namei Xie, Yingshuang He, Jinling Lin, Hong-Gu He, Rongfang Hu.
Source Title: JMIR Mental Health
ISSN: 2368-7959
DOI: 10.2196/23917
Rights: Attribution 4.0 International
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