Early Childhood Sleep Intervention in Urban Primary Care: Caregiver and Clinician Perspectives

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Despite significant income-related disparities in pediatric sleep, few early childhood sleep interventions have been tailored for or tested with families of lower socio-economic status (SES). This qualitative study assessed caregiver and clinician perspectives to inform adaptation and implementation of evidence-based behavioral sleep interventions in urban primary care with families who are predominantly of lower SES. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with (a) 23 caregivers (96% mothers; 83% Black; 65% ≤125% U.S. poverty level) of toddlers and preschoolers with insomnia or insufficient sleep and (b) 22 urban primary care clinicians (physicians, nurse practitioners, social workers, and psychologists; 87% female; 73% White). Guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, the interview guide assessed multilevel factors across five domains related to intervention implementation. Qualitative data were analyzed using an integrated approach to identify thematic patterns across participants and domains. Patterns of convergence and divergence in stakeholder perspectives emerged across themes. Participants agreed upon the importance of child sleep and intervention barriers (family work schedules; household and neighborhood factors). Perspectives aligned on intervention (flexibility; collaborative and empowering care) and implementation (caregiver-to-caregiver support and use of technology) facilitators. Clinicians identified many family barriers to treatment engagement, but caregivers perceived few barriers. Clinicians also raised healthcare setting factors that could support (integrated care) or hinder (space and resources) implementation. Findings point to adaptations to evidence-based early childhood sleep intervention that may be necessary for effective implementation in urban primary care. Such adaptations could potentially reduce significant pediatric sleep-related health disparities.

Authors:

Williamson AA, Milaniak I, Watson B, Cicalese C, Fiks AG, Power TJ, Barg FK, Beidas RS, Mindel JA, Rendle KA