Efficacy of Early Intervention Programmes: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Efficacy of Early Intervention Programmes: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Gómez-Cotilla, R. Lopez-de-Uralde-Selva, M. Valero-Aguayo, L.
Background: Early childhood intervention is a form of intervention aimed at children to overcome difficulties in different areas of their development after birth. There are multiple early intervention programmes, but only a few studies assess their efficacy using data. Objective: A systematic review and meta-analysis of early intervention programmes was carried out. Method: Inclusion criteria were considered to be empirical studies, with outcome data on children between 0 and 6 years of age with various developmental problems. The review was conducted in nine databases. Results: Of the total number of studies from 2000 to 2021 in English and Spanish, 40 studies were included that looked at the efficacy of the programmes. Of these, 19 used comparisons with a control group, and 13 used single-subject designs, as well as other designs. The programmes were very diverse, mostly based on behavioural procedures, and aimed at promoting the development of specific areas. The quality of the studies is medium-high. The meta-analysis included 18 studies with a mean effect size d = 0.45 (CI = 0.18, 0.67), with high sample heterogeneity and low study selection bias. Conclusions: Early childhood interventions have a medium and positive efficacy on the skills and abilities of children with developmental problems. The limitations of the reviewed studies are discussed, as well as the need for well-defined programmes, long-term measurements, and comparisons of different types of programmes among them.

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Behandling og hjelpetiltak


Psykiske vansker og lidelser


Biologiske risikofaktorer, sykdommer og symptomer

Psykisk/fysisk funksjonsnedsettelse


Psykologiske behandlingsmetoder

Kognitiv atferdsterapi, atferdsterapi og kognitiv terapi


Sped- og småbarn (0-2 år)

Barn i førskolealder (3-5 år)

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