The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of the Training and Support Programme among parents of children with ataxia. A total of 39 parents expressed an interest in the TSP, 27 (mean age 41; range 25 – 58) returned baseline questionnaires and completed the study. Twenty-four children (mean age 12.5 years, SD = 12.4) received the TSP. Data were collected by self-administered questionnaires mailed to parents immediately before attending the TSP and at 4-month follow-up. Interviews were conducted with 10 parents immediately following TSP completion. Comparisons over time revealed significant decreases in parental anxious mood (p = .011), depressed mood (p = .046) and perceived stress (p = .020) and significant improvements in generalized self-efficacy (p = .010), satisfaction with life (p = .045) and parental health status (p = .020). Parents reported improvements in children's mobility, “jumping legs”, sleep patterns, energy and activity levels, relaxation, and happiness (e.g., more smiles). Parents felt closer to their children and one parent had become “more accepting” of their child's ataxia. Results indicate that the TSP may enhance the psychosocial well-being of parents of children with ataxia although a randomized controlled trial would be necessary to determine whether the changes reported here are in fact due to attending the TSP
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This is an electronic version of an article published in Psychology, Health & Medicine 12 (1). Psychology, Health & Medicine is available online at: