The Turkish Journal of Pediatrics 2021 , Vol 63 , Num 2
How effective is family counselling on screen exposure of pre-school children?
Evin İlter Bahadur 1 ,Pınar Zengin Akkuş 1 ,Tuba Çelen Yoldaş 1 ,Elif Nursel Özmert 1
1 Division of Developmental Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Hacettepe University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey DOI : 10.24953/turkjped.2021.02.012 Background. Excessive screen viewing and background TV exposure are common problems all over the world. Therefore, intervention studies have gained importance. This study aims to investigate the effectiveness of family-based, developmental pediatrics clinic setting counseling in reducing screen time in typically developing children and to compare them with neurodevelopmental disorders.

Methods. Children (aged 24-62 months) who were exposed to screen viewing for at least 2 hours/day were included. Parents were given three counseling sessions to reduce excessive screen time. Parents reported daily screen time, co-viewing, background TV exposure, the duration of reading books and playing with their child.

Results. The study included 105 children (median age: 34 months IQR:28-41). Before counseling, the screen viewing time and the percentage of co-viewing among typically developing children (n=22) and children with a neurodevelopmental disorder (n=83) were similar. There was a statistically significant decrease in screen time in both groups after the intervention. A higher impact was shown in the neurodevelopmental disorder group. The increase in percentages of co-viewing, as well as the increase in the time spent playing with their children, were statistically significant in the neurodevelopmental disorder group.

Conclusions. The study demonstrated that three pediatric office-setting counseling sessions including media use recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics are effective to decrease screen time for children who are either typically developing or with a neurodevelopmental disorder. Keywords : background TV exposure; excessive screen time; family counseling; neurodevelopmental disorder, pediatric office setting

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