Tungpunkom, P., Maybery, D., Reupert, A., Kowalenko, N. & Foster, K. (2017). Mental health professionals’ family-focused practice with families with dependent children: a survey study. BMC Health Services Research,17(818), M. Zalm. 1-8. United Kingdom: BMC Springer. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2761-7
Background:Many people with a mental illness are parents caring for dependent children. These children are atgreater risk of developing their own mental health concerns compared to other children. Mental health services areopportune places for healthcare professionals to identify clients’parenting status and address the needs of theirchildren. There is a knowledge gap regarding Thai mental health professionals’family-focused knowledge andpractices when working with parents with mental illness and their children and families.Methods:This cross–sectional survey study examined the attitudes, knowledge and practices of a sample (n= 349)of the Thai mental health professional workforce (nurses, social workers, psychologists, psychiatrists) using atranslated version of the Family-Focused Mental Health Practice Questionnaire (FFMHPQ).Results:The majority of clinicians reported no training in family (76.8%) or child-focused practice (79.7%). Compared toother professional groups, psychiatric nurses reported lower scores on almost all aspects of family-focused practiceexcept supporting clients in their parenting role within the context of their mental illness. Social workers scoredhighest overall including having more workplace support for family-focused practice as well as a higher awareness offamily-focused policy and procedures than psychiatrists; social workers also scored higher than psychologists onproviding support to families and parents. All mental health care professional groups reported a need for training andinter-professional practice when working with families.Conclusions:The findings indicate an important opportunity for the prevention of intergenerational mental illness inwhose parents have mental illness by strengthening the professional development of nurses and other healthprofessionals in child and family-focused knowledge and practice.
School of Nursing, Midwifery & Paramedicine
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