BRIGHT Coaching: a Developmental Coach System to Empower Families of Preschoolers with Suspected Developmental Delays


Healthy children develop critical skills during the preschool years, but children with developmental delays may struggle in skill development. Parents/caregivers often find it difficult to access the best diagnostic and interventional care and the best services during this important period of their child's development. This can lead to significant frustration and stress for families.

BRIGHT Coaching is a study that asks whether a standardized online education and peer support tool and coaching resource is feasible and helpful to parents/caregivers of children aged two to four years old with suspected developmental delay. This randomized controlled trial is taking place in British Columbia, Manitoba, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. 

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Child Health BC is the headquarters of the BC site of the BRIGHT Coaching trial. Dr. Maureen O'Donnell is one of the Principal Investigators of the overall trial, along with Dr. Annette Majnemer at McGill University. BRIGHT Coaching is part of the wider CHILD-BRIGHT Network, funded by the CIHR Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) initiative. 

The BRIGHT Coaching program provides study participants with coaching sessions with a trained coach, online education, and a peer support platform. The evidence-based program was developed by an interdisciplinary research and is guided by the participation of a nine-member Parent Advisory Group. The hypothesis is that receiving this support will enhance parent/caregiver health and family health care experience.  


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Current status

The BRIGHT Coaching trial is currently in full swing in four sites across Canada. For the BC site of the trial, Child Health BC is working with child development centres, speech and language therapy services, and autism assessment centres across British Columbia. 105 families are enrolled across BC, with representation from each region and health authority in the province. Enrolment will continue until the end of 2020. 



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