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It is impossible to work with parents and children for any length of time without coming across situations where mothers, fathers, or both seem to need help with parenting. It has long been known that there are associations between the quality of parenting and childrens outcomes. Additional difficulties with establishing appropriate parenting styles are imposed on families as a result of their baby needing intensive care. It is therefore important to find out which interventions, provided in the setting of a neonatal intensive care unit NICU, might improve parenting and whether this in turn could mediate better outcomes for babies, and their parents, in families to which such interventions are given.
Over the past 20 years a great deal of work has evaluated interventions to improve parenting, and it is fortunate that many of the published studies have been randomised controlled trials. This in turn has allowed for two related Cochrane reviews, one in 20031 …
Competing interests Martin P Ward Platt is Deputy Editor of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.