It Takes Two to Talk – The Hanen Program® and families of children with motor disorders: a UK perspective*

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BackgroundSpeech and language therapy for young children who have motor disorders targets both the children themselves and their parents. Therapy for parents often involves training about communication and how to foster children's development. It Takes Two to Talk – The Hanen Program® for Parents has become popular in the UK, but has not been specifically evaluated for this client group. This study, which was part of a larger investigation of the acceptability and potential effects of the programme on the communication patterns of mothers and their young children with motor disorders, investigated therapists' experiences of providing the training in the National Health Service (NHS) and their views on its effectiveness.MethodsFour focus groups, which involved 16 speech and language therapists who provide It Takes Two to Talk in NHS Trusts in England, were analysed using qualitative methods.ResultsThe themes indicated that therapists perceived the training programme to be effective in helping parents to develop a facilitative communication style. Therapists reported secondary outcomes of positive changes in parents' confidence and in relationships between parents and their children and between parents and therapists. Barriers to the provision and success of the programme were thought to relate to resources, parents' apprehensions about the programme's content and delivery and support from key stakeholders. Barriers were seen to be minimized in services where other members of the healthcare teams actively supported the training programme and where the intervention was integrated as part of a care pathway.ConclusionsThe information from this study may assist service providers in the marketing, planning and delivery of new intervention methods, to ensure that they are seen as valuable and acceptable by parents.

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