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A qualitative study of programs for parents with serious mental illness and their children: building practice-based evidence

Joanne Nicholson, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Beth R. Hinden, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Kathleen Biebel, University of Massachusetts Medical School
Alexis D. Henry, University of Massachusetts
Judith Katz-Leavy

Abstract

The rationale for the development of effective programs for parents with serious mental illness and their children is compelling. Using qualitative methods and a grounded theory approach with data obtained in site visits, seven existing programs for parents with mental illness and their children in the United States are described and compared across core components: target population, theory and assumptions, funding, community and agency contexts, essential services and intervention strategies, moderators, and outcomes. The diversity across programs is strongly complemented by shared characteristics, the identification of which provides the foundation for future testing and the development of an evidence base. Challenges in program implementation and sustainability are identified. Qualitative methods are useful, particularly when studying existing programs, in taking steps toward building the evidence base for effective programs for parents with serious mental illness and their children.

Suggested Citation

Joanne Nicholson, Beth R. Hinden, Kathleen Biebel, Alexis D. Henry, and Judith Katz-Leavy. "A qualitative study of programs for parents with serious mental illness and their children: building practice-based evidence" The journal of behavioral health services and research 34.4 (2007).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/kathleen_biebel/15