Scand J Caring Sci; 2009; 23; 211–221
Preventive psychosocietal support groups: parents' criteria for good quality
The aim of this study is to produce concepts to describe criteria for good quality of support groups for families with children. The research questions were, what is a good support group like according to parents' experiences and what are the criteria for the good quality from the perspective of families? The study sample consisted of 13 small groups. The study participants consisted of 63 mothers and 14 fathers, who accounted for 63% of the small group attendance. Data were collected in Finland through 13 group interviews. Qualitative content analysis of manifest and latent content was used as the method of analysis. Parents appreciated the availability of information, the ability of the parents to discuss matters, the activities, interaction and good group supervision. As the parental views of the characteristics of a good support group are concrete, they can be easily taken into account with implementing family-oriented support group programmes. The concepts of the present study can be used in the future to construct instruments to evaluate quality of support groups from the perspective of families. Further studies should pay more attention to the experiences of drop out families and families that are not satisfied with group services.