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Professionals’ experiences of integrating a child perspective in adult psychosis service

Journal article
Authors Jennifer Strand
Lisa Rudolfsson
Published in American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Volume 21
Issue 12
Pages 57-78
ISSN 1548-7768
Publication year 2018
Published at Gothenburg Research Institute (GRI)
Department of Psychology
Pages 57-78
Language en
Keywords adult psychosis service, child support, family interventions, parenting, qualitative study
Subject categories Applied Psychology

Abstract

Swedish health care legislation passed in 2010 obliges professionals to pay att ention to the children of parents with mental illness. Our aim was to explore professionals' perceptions of the benefits and difficulties of integrating a child perspective at psychiatric outpatient clinics for patients with psychosis. We were also interested in experiences of implementing two family interventions, Beardslee's Preventive Family Intervention and Let's Talk About the Children. Eleven semistructured interviews were conducted with professionals trained in both interventions. Both authors applied thematic analysis to the interview material. Although participants expressed commitment to reaching these children and supporting their parents, the narratives were characterized by difficulties in reaching this goal. Difficulties included incompatible laws and regulations, lack of organizational support, and professionals' loyalty to their patients, leading them to overlook inadequate parenting. Other obstacles to reaching children involved parental fear caused by paranoia. Th e results indicate a need for guidelines for the psychiatric service's provision of age-appropriate information and support to their patients' children. Organizational changes are needed to prevent alliances with their patients from interfering with professionals' abilities to help both ill parents and their children. KEYWORDS adult psychosis service, child support, family interventions, parenting, qualitative study SIGNIFICANT OUTCOMES • Children's rights to support and to information about the parent's illness were oft en hindered by the parent's symptoms of paranoia. It could be questioned whether a parent with severe delusions is capable of making decisions with the child's best interest in mind. • Psychiatric outpatient clinics could benefit from having a group of professionals responsible for updating knowledge about resources and ensuring that the well-being of all patients' children is attended to. Such a group could also prevent professionals from allowing their alliance with patients not to detect some parents' incapacity to meet their children's needs.

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