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While mental health services are increasingly encouraged to engage in family-focused practice, it is a poorly understood term. The aim of review was to synthesize evidence on the concept and scope of family-focused practice in adult and child and youth mental health care settings. An integrative literature review method was used. Electronic databases were systematically searched between 1994–2014. In 40 included articles, family-focused practice was conceptualized variously depending on who comprised the "family," the family type, and context of practice. Six core and inter-related family-focused practices were identified: assessment; psychoeducation; instrumental, emotional, and social support; family care planning and goal-setting; liaison between families and services; and a coordinated system of care between families and services. "Family" as defined by its members forms a basis for practice that is oriented to providing a "whole of family" approach to care. Key principles and family-focused practices are recommended across mental health settings.

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Journal Article

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