Open Access Study protocol

Study protocol: evaluation of a parenting and stress management programme: a randomised controlled trial of Triple P Discussion Groups and Stress Control

Melanie L Palmer12*, Marion Henderson1, Matthew R Sanders2, Louise J Keown2 and Jim White3

Author Affiliations

1 Medical Research Council/Chief Scientist Office Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, 4 Lilybank Gardens, Glasgow G12 8RZ, United Kingdom

2 School of Learning, Development, and Professional Practice, Faculty of Education, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92601 Symonds St, Auckland 1150, New Zealand

3 STEPS Primary Care Mental Health Team, National Health Service Greater Glasgow and Clyde, 60 Florence Street, Glasgow G5 0YX, United Kingdom

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:888  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-888

An erratum was published for this article. It is available at the following link;

Published: 25 September 2013



Children displaying psychosocial problems are at an increased risk of negative developmental outcomes. Parenting practices are closely linked with child development and behaviour, and parenting programmes have been recommended in the treatment of child psychosocial problems. However, parental mental health also needs to be addressed when delivering parenting programmes as it is linked with parenting practices, child outcomes, and treatment outcomes of parenting programmes. This paper describes the protocol of a study examining the effects of a combined intervention of a parenting programme and a cognitive behavioural intervention for mental health problems.


The effects of a combined intervention of Triple P Discussion Groups and Stress Control will be examined using a randomised controlled trial design. Parents with a child aged 3–8 years will be recruited to take part in the study. After obtaining informed consent and pre-intervention measures, participants will be randomly assigned to either an intervention or a waitlist condition. The two primary outcomes for this study are change in dysfunctional/ineffective parenting practices and change in symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Secondary outcomes are child behaviour problems, parenting experiences, parental self-efficacy, family relationships, and positive parental mental health. Demographic information, participant satisfaction with the intervention, and treatment fidelity data will also be collected. Data will be collected at pre-intervention, mid-intervention, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up.


The aim of this paper is to describe the study protocol of a randomised controlled trial evaluating the effects of a combined intervention of Triple P Discussion Groups and Stress Control in comparison to a waitlist condition. This study is important because it will provide evidence about the effects of this combined intervention for parents with 3–8 year old children. The results of the study could be used to inform policy about parenting support and support for parents with mental health problems.

Trial registration NCT01777724, UTN: U1111-1137-1053.