Show me what happens next: Preliminary efficacy of a remote play-based intervention for children with Prader-Willi syndrome


Dimitropoulos, A., Zyga, O., Doernberg, E., Russ, S.W.

Scientific Notation:

Research in Developmental Disabilities

Publication Link:


Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS) is characterized by decreased social and emotional functioning. Due to the low base-rate of children with PWS, developing behavioral interventions for individuals with PWS is faced with the challenge of enrolling enough local participants for adequate study of behavioral intervention efficacy. However, these types of studies are greatly needed in PWS and telehealth methodology may be useful in addressing this challenge. This article is a follow-up to a previous feasibility study (Dimitropoulos et al., 2017) and reports on the preliminary efficacy of a telehealth intervention delivered to 15 children, ages 6–12, with PWS. Overall, children demonstrated significantly improved cognitive and affective processes in pretend play and general cognitive flexibility following the 6-week remote intervention. These findings are limited by the lack of control group and small sample size which should be considered when interpreting results. Overall, these preliminary findings point to the potential role pretend play can serve as a means of enacting cognitive and behavioral change via telehealth.

FPWR Grant:

Evaluating the Parent-focused Remote Education To Enhance Development (PRETEND) Program in PWS