Exploring the Relationship between Parental Worry about their Children's Health and Usage of an Internet Intervention for Pediatric Encopresis

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Abstract

Objective

To investigate whether parental worry about their children's health predicts usage of a pediatric Internet intervention for encopresis.

Methods

Thirty-nine families with a child diagnosed with encopresis completed a national clinical trial of an Internet-based intervention for encopresis (www.ucanpooptoo.com). Parents rated worry about their children's health, encopresis severity, current parent treatment for depression, and parent comfort with the Internet. Usage indicators were collected while participants utilized the intervention.

Results

Regression analyses showed that parents who reported higher baseline levels of worry about their children's health showed greater subsequent intervention use (β=.52, p=.002), even after accounting for other plausible predictors. Exploratory analyses indicated that this effect may be stronger for families with younger children.

Conclusions

Characteristics of individuals using Internet-based treatment programs, such as parental worry about their children's health, can influence intervention usage, and should be considered by developers of Internet interventions.

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