Differences in implementation of family focused practice in hospitals: A cross-sectional study

Bjørg Eva Skogøy, Darryl Maybery, Torleif Ruud, Knut Sørgaard, Gro Christensen Peck, Elin Kufås, Kristin Stavnes, Eivind Thorsen, Terje Ogden

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Changes in Norwegian law and health policy require all health professionals to help safeguard the provision of information and follow-up for the children of parents with mental or physical illness, or substance abuse problems, to decrease their risk of psychosocial problems. There is a lack of knowledge on how the national changes have been received by hospital-based health professionals, and if they have led to an increase in family focused practice. Methods: This cross-sectional study examined the adherence of health professionals' (N = 280) in five hospitals to new guidelines for family focused practice, using a translated and generic version of Family Focused Mental Health Practice Questionnaire. Results: Overall, health professionals scored high on knowledge and skills, and were confident in working with families and children, but reported moderate levels of family support and referrals. Comparison of the five hospitals showed significant differences in terms of workplace support, knowledge and skills and family support. The smallest hospital had less workplace support and less knowledge and skills but scored medium on family support. The two largest hospitals scored highest on family support, but with significant differences on parents refusing to have conversations with children. Conclusions: Differences in implementation of family focused practice highlight the need to tailor improvement strategies to specific barriers at the different hospitals. The use of implementation theories and improvement strategies could promote full implementation, where all families and children in need were identified and had access to family support. Trial registration The study is approved by the Regional Committee on Medical and Health Research Ethics South-East Q5 37 (reg. no. 2012/1176) and by the Privacy Ombudsman.

Original languageEnglish
Article number77
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Mental Health Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Dec 2018


  • Child responsible personnel
  • Children as next of kin
  • Children of ill parents
  • Family focused practice
  • Hospitals
  • Law
  • Parental illness
  • Policy

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