Family-focused practice in mental health care: An integrative review

Kim FOSTER, Darryl Maybery, Andrea Reupert, Brenda Gladstone, Anne Grant, Torleif Ruud, Adrian Falkov, Nick Kowalenko

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    107 Citations (Scopus)


    While mental health services are increasingly encouraged to engage in family-focused practice, it is a poorly understood term. The aim of review was to synthesize evidence on the concept and scope of family-focused practice in adult and child and youth mental health care settings. An integrative literature review method was used. Electronic databases were systematically searched between 1994–2014. In 40 included articles, family-focused practice was conceptualized variously depending on who comprised the "family," the family type, and context of practice. Six core and inter-related family-focused practices were identified: assessment; psychoeducation; instrumental, emotional, and social support; family care planning and goal-setting; liaison between families and services; and a coordinated system of care between families and services. "Family" as defined by its members forms a basis for practice that is oriented to providing a "whole of family" approach to care. Key principles and family-focused practices are recommended across mental health settings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-155
    Number of pages27
    JournalChild and Youth Services
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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