Treatment Efficacy of Multiple Family Narrative Therapy for Chinese Families of Children with Dyslexia: a Randomized Controlled Trial

Project: Research project

Project Details


Background: Dyslexia is a learning disability affecting a person’s ability in word/alphabet recognition that reduces reading and interpreting accuracy. Between 2016 and 2019, there was an incremental 8.3% increase in the number of children with special learning needs in Hong Kong (Finance Committee, 2019-20). This increase is projected to continue to rise because of public awareness that this specific learning disability can become a life-long problem if it is not treated. Parental inability to help their children with dyslexia has negatively affected parent-child relationships and thus lead to additional family crises.

Objectives: The first objective of this study is to test the effectiveness of a brief-targeted Multiple Family Narrative Therapy (MFNT) for Chinese families of children with dyslexia (FCDs) in Hong Kong, in reducing psychological distress of parents and children, improving parent-child relationships and the perceived social support of the parents. The second objective is to examine the process of change in attitudes and interactions among family members participating in MFNT.

Method: It is hypothesised that the MFNT intervention will help reduce the psychological distress of parents and children, build healthy parent-child relationships, and promote the use of social support. A randomised controlled trial (RCT) design supplemented by qualitative interviews will be used to evaluate the overall effectiveness of MFNT. At the beginning of this 24-month project, 56 Families of Children with Dyslexia (FCDs), 168 individual participants in total, will be recruited from four local public primary schools with classes for children with special needs. These families will be randomly assigned to Treatment Group (MFNT Intervention) and Control Group (Treatment as Usual) in each school setting. With repeated measures, this RCT design is denoted as:
Treatment Group: T0 X T1 T2
Control Group: T0 T1 T2
In this design, in addition to the pre-test and post-test data collection from T0 to T2, a series of semi-structured interviews will be conducted in each research site to capture the treatment experience of family members who volunteer after treatment to process their change in attitudes and interactions among family members who participated in MFNT.

Significance: This study will add empirical evidence on the effectiveness of MFNT. Particularly, it will assess culturally relevant components adapted for Chinese FCDs. Its long-term impact will include the use of an evidence-informed practice manual to train professionals in schools on how to identify/address the needs of FCDs so that they can better assist children in improving adaptation skills and maximizing academic and life-learning achievements.
Effective start/end date1/01/2230/06/24


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