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Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2013 Mar-Apr;35(2):147-53. doi: 10.1016/j.genhosppsych.2012.10.005. Epub 2012 Nov 13.

Implementation of preventive mental health services for children of physically ill parents: experiences in seven European countries and health care systems.

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  • 1Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Germany.



Parental physical disease is a family issue, but families' minor children are seldom considered. The current study analyzed experiences with implementation of counseling for families with physically ill parents and minor children during a European multisite pilot project.


Implementation protocols of seven European partner centers collaborating in a joint research project were analyzed by Mayring's qualitative content analysis. Both an inductive approach and a deductive approach were chosen. Satisfaction of families and therapists was considered based on information from three partner centers.


Satisfaction with counseling was rather high. Mentioned problems referred to aspects related to liaison partners, family-related aspects and physicians' concerns. Recommendations related to contacting families, liaising with other professions, implementing counseling together with a research project, and training. Results are integrated in the current dissemination literature.


Successful implementation was mostly determined by aspects of interdisciplinary cooperation and communication, perceived relative advantage and organizational premises. With regard to this kind of innovative child-centered family mental health services, top-down and bottom-up implementation strategies should be combined, and strategies of maintenance and sustainability should be considered from the very beginning.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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