Context: Behavioural interventions are used to prevent, manage and treat a wide variety of conditions including obesity, diabetes, chronic pain, asthma and emotional difficulties. There has been inadequate attention to the delivery of behavioural interventions to younger children (5-11 years old).
Objective: Our objectives were to describe the characteristics of behavioural interventions for children aged 5-11 years.
Data sources: We searched five databases: CINAHL, EMBASE, PsycINFO, MEDLINE and Cochrane Library, from January 2005 to August 2019.
Study selection: The inclusion criteria were (1) children aged 5-11, (2) cognitive and/or behavioural interventions, (3) randomised controlled trials and (4) 2005 onward. Two researchers independently identified studies for inclusion.
Data extraction: Two researchers independently extracted data from eligible papers.
Results: The search identified 10 541 papers. We extracted information on 117 interventions (from 152 papers). Many of the interventions were categorised as complex. This was particularly true for clinical populations; 78.7% were delivered to both the child and parent, and 33.9% took place across multiple settings, typically health and school settings. Most (70.9%) were 'First Wave' (behavioural) interventions, and few (4.3%) were 'Third Wave' (characterised by metacognition, acceptance and mindfulness). Thirty-nine per cent used interactive techniques (play, arts, story and/or games). Purely digital and paper-based interventions were rare, but around a third used these tools as supplements to face-face delivery. There were differences in interventions for younger (5-7 years) and older (8-11 years) children.
Conclusions: Interventions designed and delivered to children should be developmentally sensitive. This review highlights characteristics of interventions delivered to children 5-11 years old: the involvement of the child's parent, using behavioural (rather than cognitive) modalities, using interactive techniques and some interventions were delivered across multiple settings.
- child psychology
- comm child health
- general paediatrics
- health service
- paediatric practice