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Review: long term effectiveness of non-drug treatments for sleep problems in young children is more evident

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 QUESTION: In healthy, young children, are drug and non-drug treatments effective for settling problems and night waking?

Data sources

Studies were identified by searching Medline (1966 to September 1998), EMBASE/Excerpta Medica (1980 to June 1998), PsycLIT (1974 to September 1998), Biological Abstracts (1985 to June 1998), CINAHL (1982 to September 1998), SIGLE (1980 to June 1998), and the Cochrane database (issue 2, 1998); scanning the bibliographies of identified articles and those in reviews and books; handsearching the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry; and contacting authors and manufacturers of trimeprazine.

Study selection

Studies were included if they were randomised controlled trials (describing drug or non-drug interventions) of young children (≤5 y of age) with an established sleep or night waking problem that had an outcome measure of number of night wakings, time to settle, or number of nights in which these problems occurred.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on the study design, number and age range of the …

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  • Source of funding: In part, Wellcome Trust.

  • For correspondence: Dr P Ramchandani, Child and Family Psychiatry Service, Sue Nicholls Centre, Manor House, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP20 1EG, UK. Fax +44 (0)1296 398802.

  • Abstract and commentary also appear in Evidence-Based Mental Health.