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

Kim Foster, Darryl John Maybery, Andrea Erika Reupert, Brenda Gladstone, Anne Grant, Torleif Ruud, Adrian Falkov, Nicholas M Kowalenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

65 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 & Youth Services
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Cite this