Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS) RCT

A Cluster Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) of Early Positive Approaches to Support (E-PAtS) for families of young children with intellectual disability.

What is E-PAtS?

Early Positive Approaches to Support (or E-PAtS for short) is a parent and caregiver support program for families who have a young child with additional developmental needs. This is sometimes referred to as intellectual disability, developmental delay, or learning disability. Family carers and professionals co-designed E-PAtS and deliver the program together. In E-PAtS, parents and caregivers are supported in a face to face group over 8 (2.5 hour) sessions. The program focuses on supporting wellbeing for parent and caregivers, support for their child's development and behaviour, and ways to access other services and support. 

What is the E-PAtS RCT about?
E-PAtS RCT logo

We want to test if E-PAtS improves wellbeing for parents who have a child (18 months to 5 years) with additional needs and whether E-PAtS benefits children with additional needs and the wider family. We also want to see if E-PAtS is good value for money.

To find out if E-PAtS benefits families, the E-PAtS RCT will recruit around 450 families to either take part in E-PAtS immediately or be invited to receive E-PAtS in 12 months time. Whether a family attends E-PAtS immediately or in 12 months time will be determined at random, like tossing a coin. This is the best way of helping us find out if E-PAtS makes a difference to families.

Whether a family receives E-PAtS right away or in 12 months time, they will be asked to complete some questionnaires. First at the start of the study, then after 4 months, and then after 12 months. All family carers that take part will be offered a voucher each time they complete a questionnaire. This will be a £15 voucher for the questionnaire at the start, another £15 voucher for completing the questionnaire at 4 months, and a £30 voucher for completing the questionnaire at 12 months. 

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