Parenting as a Focus of Recovery: A Systematic Review of Current Practice

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Objectives: The first aim of this article was to systematically identify and review interventions that had incorporated parenting as a focus of recovery-orientated practice in adult mental health services. The second aim was to assess the strength of the extant evidence that including parenting as a focus of recovery practice was effective in terms of improving parent, child and family wellbeing. Method: An online search was conducted through Scopus, PsycINFO, Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane library, and the Australian Family & Society Abstracts, for articles published between 2006 and 2015. Inclusion criteria involved articles that described and/or evaluated interventions that incorporated parenting as a focus of recovery in adult mental health services. A framework, drawn from the literature, was used to delineate the identified interventions in terms of recovery. Results: Three interventions were identified and evaluated. Only 1 intervention had been evaluated using randomized controlled trials. The limited evaluation data available tentatively suggested that recovery-orientated parent interventions may positively impact on a range of parent, child, and family outcomes. The interventions varied considerably in terms of intensity, scope, and reach. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: There is an emerging evidence base demonstrating that including parenting as a focus of recovery practice is effective in improving parental, child and family wellbeing. However, more rigorous research in this area is a priority. Given that parenting is a valued life role for many people with a mental illness, there is an opportunity to integrate parenting as a central component of recovery-orientated approaches.

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