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Brief Research Report ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00769

Development of the WHO Caregiver Skills Training Programme for Developmental Disorders or Delays

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Milan-Bicocca, Italy
  • 2Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization (Switzerland), Switzerland
  • 3Division of Child and Youth Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 4Other, Switzerland
  • 5Department of Special Education and Clinical Sciences, College of Education, University of Oregon, United States
  • 6War Child Holland, Netherlands
  • 7Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 8College of Education, University of Florida, United States

Globally, 52.9 million children under the age of 5 experience a developmental disability, such as sensory impairment, intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders, and 95% of them live in low-and-middle-income countries. Most of these children lack access to care. In light of the growing evidence that caregivers can learn skills to support their children’s social communication and adaptive behaviour and to reduce challenging behaviour, the World Health Organization developed a novel Caregiver Skills Training Programme (CST) to address this treatment gap. This report outlines the development process, content and global field-testing strategy of this novel caregiver-mediated intervention for families of children with developmental disorders or delay. The CST programme is designed to be feasible, scalable and adaptable and appropriate for implementation in low-resource settings by non-specialists. The programme was informed by an evidence review, utilizing a common elements approach and was developed through extensive stakeholder consultation and an iterative revision process. The programme is intended for a global audience and was designed to be adapted to the cultural, socio-economic, geographic and resource context in which it is used to ensure that it is comprehensible, acceptable, feasible and relevant to target users. It is currently undergoing field-testing in more than 30 countries across all world regions.

Keywords: Neurodevelopmental disorder (NDD), Developmental Delay (DD), Disabilility, Caregiver skills, Parent-mediated intervention, nurturing care

Received: 31 May 2019; Accepted: 24 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Salomone, Pacione, Shire, Brown, Reichow and Servili. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Chiara Servili, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, World Health Organization (Switzerland), Geneva, Switzerland,