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Family-based promotion of mental health in children affected by HIV: a pilot randomized controlled trial.
- Author(s): Betancourt, Theresa S;
- Ng, Lauren C;
- Kirk, Catherine M;
- Brennan, Robert T;
- Beardslee, William R;
- Stulac, Sara;
- Mushashi, Christine;
- Nduwimana, Estella;
- Mukunzi, Sylvere;
- Nyirandagijimana, Beatha;
- Kalisa, Godfrey;
- Rwabukwisi, Cyamatare F;
- Sezibera, Vincent
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.12729
BackgroundChildren affected by HIV are at risk for poor mental health. We conducted a pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Family Strengthening Intervention (FSI-HIV), a family home-visiting intervention to promote mental health and improve parent-child relationships in families with caregivers living with HIV, hypothesizing that child and family outcomes would be superior to usual care social work services.
MethodsEighty two families (N = 170 children, 48.24% female; N = 123 caregivers, 68.29% female) with at least one HIV-positive caregiver (n = 103, 83.74%) and school-aged child (ages 7-17) (HIV+ n = 21, 12.35%) were randomized to receive FSI-HIV or treatment-as-usual (TAU). Local research assistants blind to treatment conducted assessments of child mental health, parenting practices, and family functioning at baseline, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up. Multilevel modeling assessed effects of FSI-HIV on outcomes across three time points.
Trial registrationNCT01509573, 'Pilot Feasibility Trial of the Family Strengthening Intervention in Rwanda (FSI-HIV-R).' https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/;NCT01509573?term=Pilot+Feasibility+Trial+of+the+Family+Strengthening+Intervention+in+Rwanda+%28FSI-HIV-R%29&rank=1.
ResultsAt 3-month follow-up, children in FSI-HIV showed fewer symptoms of depression compared to TAU by both self-report (β = -.246; p = .009) and parent report (β = -.174; p = .035) but there were no significant differences by group on conduct problems, functional impairment, family connectedness, or parenting.
ConclusionsFamily-based prevention has promise for reducing depression symptoms in children affected by HIV. Future trials should examine the effects of FSI-HIV over time in trials powered to examine treatment mediators.
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