Study finding evidence of the importance of early parenting interventions wins International Pediatrics Conference award for PhD Student

Ms Syeda Fardina Mehrin (Dina),  a research investigator at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh and a PhD student working with Dr Henningham recently received the International Developmental Pediatrics congress research award for her work on “Long-Term Effects Of Psychosocial Stimulation On The Behavior Of Malnourished Children Who Participated In A Previous Study Of Psychosocial Stimulation." The award, which attracted entries from over 30 countries, was presented to Dina in Mumbai and is designed to promote young researchers and encourage innovative ideas and groundbreaking research findings. 

Dina’s study was a follow-up of a cluster randomized controlled trial conducted in 20 villages in rural areas of Bangladesh. In 2000, 214 mothers and their malnourished children (aged 6-24 months old) participated in a 1 year parenting intervention. This intervention led to significant improvements to children’s language, cognition and behaviour compared to malnourished children who did not receive the parenting intervention.

Dina’s follow up study, conducted in 2015, tested 90% of the children from the original study (by then 17-18 yrs old). Dina found that the malnourished children who participated in the intervention had significantly fewer behaviour difficulties and better prosocial behaviour compared to the malnourished children in the comparison group who had not participated in the original 1 year intervention a decade and a half previously. This is strong evidence of considerable longevity in terms of positive effects for parenting intervention and underlines the importance of delivering those interventions at an early age.

The International Developmental Pediatrics congress is held every two years with the mission of creating a scientific international platform to connect and support clinicians, researchers and policy makers working in the field of Developmental Pediatrics and related disciplines from around the world. Researchers, Clinicians, different professionals working with childhood disability from Europe, Asia, Africa, North and South America participated in the congress.

Publication date: 29 January 2018