Deakin University

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Collaborative and Proactive Solutions compared with usual care to treat irritability in children and adolescents: a pilot randomized controlled trial

journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-01, 00:00 authored by M Mulraney, Emma SciberrasEmma Sciberras, Jonathan M. Payne, C De Luca, J Mills, M Tennant, D Coghill
Objective: This pilot randomised controlled trial evaluated the acceptability and feasibility of a psychological intervention to manage severe irritability in children and adolescents. Methods: Children with severe irritability (9–14 years; 42% male) were randomised to receive six sessions of Collaborative & Proactive Solutions (CPS) or usual clinical care. The primary outcome was acceptability and feasibility of the intervention (participant enrollment, drop-out, intervention session attendance). Key secondary outcomes assessed 4-month post-randomisation included child irritability, quality of life, executive functioning, parent mental health and family functioning. Results: Twelve children enrolled in the study (52% uptake). All participants in the CPS group attended ≥2 intervention sessions, and one participant in the usual care group was lost to follow-up. Compared to usual care, the CPS group had improvements in child irritability (Effect Size (ES): −0.4), quality of life (ES: 0.4), executive functioning (ES: −0.4), and family functioning (ES: −0.7). Conclusion: It is acceptable and feasible to deliver CPS to severely irritable children and adolescents. Preliminary evidence suggests this non-pharmacological intervention improves important areas of functioning for severely irritable children. Trial registration: The trial was prospectively registered on 11 October 2017 with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( ACTRN12617001445369).



Clinical Psychologist






231 - 239





Publication classification

C4 Letter or note