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Article

Genevieve Leenman and Karen Arblaster

Approximately 20 per cent of Australian children live with a parent who experiences mental illness. These children have poorer health and psychosocial outcomes than their…

Abstract

Purpose

Approximately 20 per cent of Australian children live with a parent who experiences mental illness. These children have poorer health and psychosocial outcomes than their peers. While family-focused practice (FFP) can improve these outcomes, family-focused service provision is inconsistent. The purpose of this paper is to understand clinicians’ experiences of FFP and associated workplace factors.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews were conducted with ten community mental health clinicians. Interviews were audio recorded and transcribed. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

A global theme of “navigating rocky terrain” captured clinicians’ experiences of working with families. The rocky terrain encompassed both family complexity and workplace barriers to FFP. Clinicians navigated this terrain by using multiple strategies to support families, working in partnership with families and other clinicians and services, and drawing on personal resources. Interactive approaches to enhancing knowledge and skills were preferred over paper-based information. While an organisation-wide approach to support FFP was beneficial, clinicians continued to feel challenged in implementing FFP.

Research limitations/implications

Working with families in which parents experience mental illness is affected by systemic issues at the family and organisational levels. Systemic approaches to both delivering and supporting this work are required. Partnership working and organisation-wide capacity building strategies emphasising interactive approaches to learning appear to have positive effects.

Originality/value

This study explores the challenges of FFP in a real-world multidisciplinary context where there has been a systemic approach to enabling this work. It highlights the challenges clinicians face in family-focused practice in spite of substantial organisational supports and suggests some approaches that might be effective. This is a topic which has received minimal attention in the literature.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

Keywords

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Article

Hanien Karibi and Karen Arblaster

Let’s Talk about Children (LTC) is a structured intervention which aims to improve outcomes for children of parents with a mental illness. An enhanced form of training has…

Abstract

Purpose

Let’s Talk about Children (LTC) is a structured intervention which aims to improve outcomes for children of parents with a mental illness. An enhanced form of training has been developed to support clinician uptake of this intervention. The purpose of this paper is to explore clinicians’ experiences of this form of training and of implementing LTC.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research design was adopted, underpinned by social constructionism. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with adult community mental health clinicians (n=10) and were audio-recorded. The interview data were transcribed verbatim, coded and thematically analysed.

Findings

Participants experienced both the training and the LTC intervention as a step in the right direction, with the enhanced training seen as superior to standard online modules, but not sufficient for implementation in practice. Additional training support, partnership working with families and service partners and overcoming challenges by adapting the model are some strategies that may support routine implementation of LTC.

Originality/value

This study is the first to explore clinician experiences of this enhanced face-to-face training format followed by the implementation of LTC in an Australian context. Findings suggest strategies for enhancing clinician skills and confidence, improving fidelity to the model and identifying success factors for services looking to implement LTC. The potential value of face-to-face over online training and common barriers to implementation at an organisational level are identified and require further exploration in future studies.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

Keywords

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Article

Karen Arblaster, Lynette Mackenzie and Karen Willis

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how mental health service user involvement in health professional education adds value to student learning about recovery-oriented…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how mental health service user involvement in health professional education adds value to student learning about recovery-oriented practice and to determine the quality and suitability of instruments used in studies to evaluate this involvement in terms of their: relationship to recovery-oriented practice; and psychometric properties.

Design/methodology/approach

Studies of service user involvement were reviewed to identify their research objectives. These were mapped against an Australian recovery-oriented practice capability framework together with the constructs measured by instruments used in these studies. Psychometric properties for each instrument were evaluated using the COSMIN checklist.

Findings

While research objectives are not stated in terms of recovery-oriented practice, they do relate to some elements of a recovery-oriented practice framework. No instrument measures outcomes against all recovery-oriented practice domains. The AQ has the strongest evidence for its psychometric properties. The most commonly used instrument measures only stigma and has poorly validated psychometric properties.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that the “value add” of service user involvement in health professional education has been poorly defined and measured to date. Learning from lived experience is central to a recovery-orientation and is an expectation of health professional education programmes. Defining objectives for service user involvement in terms of recovery-oriented practice and developing an instrument which measures student learning against these objectives are important areas for ongoing research supporting improved approaches to supporting people’s recovery.

Details

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-6228

Keywords

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