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Mikhulu Trust Supported Research Projects

The Mikhulu trust supports academics and practitioners around the world in conducting research using Mikhulu Trust training materials. The studies currently underway are briefly described below.

AFRICA

The Drakenstien Randomised Controlled Trial

South Africa

Summary: This study, which took place in the Drakenstein municipality, compared the impact of book-sharing training on families with children aged 40-44 months with a waitlist control. The study evaluated the impact of this intervention on the neurocognitive and socioemotional
development of the children involved. In total 122 carer-child pairs were recruited with 61 randomised to the intervention. Training and post-intervention assessments were completed in July 2019. Data quality control, data cleaning, retrospective translation, and scoring of tests
and statistical analysis are ongoing.

Who was involved: This study, headed up by Dr Karen Mare, was supported by Professor Dan Stein, head of the Brain Behaviour Unit and Department of Psychiatry at the the University of Cape Town, with the involvement of Paediatrician Prof Heather Zar of Red Cross Hospital (UCT), Research Centre for Adolescent and Child Health Unit, and Profs Peter Cooper and Lynne Murray of the University of Reading, UK..

Mikhulu Trust involvement: The Mikhulu Trust provided training and supervision to the facilitators
and donated books to the families.

The Mphatlalatsane Randomised Controlled Trial

Lesotho

Summary: This study, conducted in Mokhotlong, in rural Lesotho, was a large cluster trial, with randomisation by village. The study aimed to investigate the impact of our book-sharing intervention on parenting and child language, attention and social understand- ing in families with one to five year old children. The trial has been completed, with a 12 month follow up, and data are currently being analysed. (See Tomlinson et al, Trials,  2016,  17,  538).


Who was involved:  This study was headed up by Professor Mark Tomlinson of Stellenbosch University, and was supported by the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).


Mikhulu Trust involvement:  The Mikhulu Trust provided training to the facilitators

The Namibia ECD Study

Windhoek, Namibia

Summary: The study was initiated to evaluate the impact on child outcome of dialogic book-sharing in ECD classroom settings. This study was a preliminary “before-and-after” study of our book-sharing programme for Early Childhood Development Centres, with training delivered to 13 pre-school teachers in Windhoek and assessment made of teachers and children. The study is currently underway and will be completed later in 2020 (subject to an easing of mobility restrictions).


Who was involved: The study was headed up by Kaathima Ebrahim of the Mikhulu Trust. It is being conducted in
collaboration with colleagues at the University of Namibia, and is supported by the University of Reading. Biblionef donated books towards this study.


Mikhulu Trust involvement: The Mikhulu Trust provided training to ECD teachers, the project management of the study, and wordless picture books.

NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA

Pelotas Randomised Controlled Trial (PIA)

Brazil

Summary: In the city of Pelotas in Brazil, we are supporting a major randomised controlled trial of our book-sharing programme (The PIA trial see Murray, J et al, Trials, 2019, 20, 253). This study, headed up by Professor Joseph Murray of the Federal University of Pelotas, is novel for three reasons: (i) it is embedded within an ongoing birth cohort study and, as such, the sample will be followed up into adulthood; (ii) in addition to a normal control group, the study includes a second active intervention; and (iii) both harsh parenting and child aggression are major outcome measures.  The intervention and six month follow up assessments have been completed and the data are currently being analysed.

Who was involved: The study was headed up by Professor Joseph Murray of the State University of Pelotas, and is supported by the Wellcome Trust of the UK.
Mikhulu Trust involvement: The Mikhulu Trust provided training to the facilitators, training materials, and wordless picture books.


 

The Bogota Randomised Controlled Trial

Columbia

Summary: This study was a three-arm study that aimed to compare a no-intervention control sample with two intervention groups: one receiving our book-sharing programme, and the other receiving CARE, a programme that aims to enhance child cognitive functioning. Families from Bogota and Cali with 36-59-month-old children have been recruited and randomised. The study has been
completed and the data are currently being analysed.    
Who was involved: The study was headed up by Juan-Jose Giraldo, with support from the University of Bogota.
Mikhulu Trust involvement: The Mikhulu Trust provided training to the facilitators (via Kate Traynor of PACT-UK)
.

EUROPE

The East London Study

UK

Summary: In London in the UK, we are supporting an experimental study on infant attention. The study is headed up by Professor Sam Wass of the University of East London. It involves a comparison between our book-sharing programme and a computer based attention enhancement programme in terms of their impact on child concentration. The study is midway through but is currently suspended because of coronavirus.

Who was involved: The East London study is headed up by Professor Sam Wass of the University of East London, and is supported by the European Research Council.
Mikulu Trust involvement: The Mikhulu Trust provided training to the study facilitator.

The EPICC Randomised Controlled Trial

Reading, UK

Summary: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of our book-sharing intervention on parenting and child language, attention, and social understanding in disadvantaged families attending Children’s Centres in Reading, UK. This was a cluster RCT (with the Children’s Centres randomised) including families with 28-45 month old children. Families attending half the Centres received our book-sharing intervention. The study has been completed, with a 4-6 month follow-up, the data have been analysed, and an outcome paper is about to be submitted for publication.  (See   Murray   et   al,   Trials,   2018,   19,   450).
Who was involved: The EPICC trial was headed up by Professors Lynne Murray and Peter Cooper of the University of Reading, and was supported by the Nuffield Foundation.
Mikhulu Trust involvement: The Mikhulu Trust provided training and supervision to the facilitators.

Parma,

Italy

In Parma in Italy, Peter and Lynne have been collaborating with a clinical psychologist, Dr Daria Vettori, in using book-sharing with families that are adopting or fostering children as a means of helping them access difficult emotional material and of supporting them.

The Uppsala Randomised Controlled Trial

Sweeden

Summary: This study is a trial of our book-sharing intervention delivered to families with 10-12 month old infants, compared to an active control intervention (i.e. stimulating joint constructive play). Follow-up assessments will be made when the children are 18 and 24 months of age. The study is currently underway and will be completed by the end of 2021.
Who was involved: The Uppsala study is headed up by Dr Linda Forssman of the University of Uppsala, and is supported by the Swedish Research Council.
Mikhulu Trust involvement: The Mikhulu Trust provided training to the facilitators (via Kate Traynor of PACT-UK).

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Early Learning Centre, Athlone, Cape Town, 7764

SA Non-Profit Company: 2017/464907/08 | SA Public Benefit Organisation: 930060969 | UK Registered Charity: 1158733