Parent-administered pediatric tuina for the treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms: Process evaluation of a pilot randomized controlled trial

Shu Cheng Chen, Hui Lin Cheng, Le Fei Han, Guo Tao Wu, Ru Yi Zhang, Lorna Kwai Ping Suen, Xi Chen, Wing Fai Yeung

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: A pilot randomized controlled trial (RCT) was conducted in mainland China to examine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary effects of parent-administered pediatric tuina on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in preschool children. An embedded process evaluation was performed to explore barriers and facilitators in the implementation, identify additional questions, and refine the study design for a future fully powered study. Methods: The process evaluation comprises the following parts: (a) self-reported questionnaires on parents (n = 43), traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioners (n = 2), outcome assessor (n = 1), and research assistant (n = 1); (b) parent logbook on parent-administered pediatric tuina (n = 32); and (c) focus group interview sessions (n = 15). Accomplishment of the self-report questionnaires was voluntary for all participants and compulsory for research personnel and TCM practitioners. The parent logbook on the intervention was filled out by all participants in the intervention group. Participants of focus group interviews were selected via purposive sampling, and data were analyzed with template analysis. Qualitative findings were summarized in tables, while the mean was calculated to reflect the quantitative findings. Results: Perceived benefits, acceptability of parents and children, and professional support from the research team facilitated the implementation of the intervention. Meanwhile, the TCM pattern identification using online mode may limit the accuracy and lead to parents doubting the precision of the TCM pattern. This limitation was regarded as a major barrier. Parents perceived improvements in terms of children's appetite, sleep quality, and parent-child relationship. Participants were generally satisfied with the settings of parent-administered pediatric tuina and showed satisfactory adherence to the implementation. Conclusions: Implementation of parent-administered pediatric tuina intervention is feasible and acceptable. The intervention can be refined by improving the TCM pattern identification procedure and adjusting outcome settings in a fully powered study in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102854
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022


  • Acupressure
  • ADHD
  • Implementation
  • Preschool children
  • Process evaluation
  • RCT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and Manual Therapy
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing


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