Hospitals implementing changes in law to protect children of ill parents: A cross-sectional study

Bjorg Eva Skogoy, Knut Sorgaard, Darryl Maybery, Torleif Ruud, Kristin Stavnes, Elin Kufas, Gro Christensen Peck, Eivind Thorsen, Jonas Christoffer Lindstrom, Terje Ogden

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    Background: Norway is one of the first countries to require all health professionals to play a part in prevention for children of parents with all kinds of illnesses (mental illness, drug addiction, or severe physical illness or injury) in order to mitigate their increased risk of psychosocial problems. Hospitals are required to have child responsible personnel (CRP) to promote and coordinate support given by health professionals to patients who are parents and to their children. Methods: This study examined the extent to which the new law had been implemented as intended in Norwegian hospitals, using Fixsen's Active Implementation Framework. A stratified random sample of managers and child responsible personnel (n = 167) from five Hospitals filled in an adapted version of the Implementation Components Questionnaire (ICQ) about the implementation of policy changes. Additional information was collected from 21 hospital coordinators (H-CRP) from 16 other hospitals. Results: Significant differences were found between the five hospitals, with lowest score from the smallest hopitals. Additional analysis, comparing the 21 hospitals, as reported by the H-CRP, suggests a clear pattern of smaller hospitals having less innovative resources to implement the policy changes. Leadership, resources and system intervention (strategies to work with other systems) were key predictors of a more successful implementation process. Conclusions: Legal changes are helpful, but quality improvements are needed to secure equal chances of protection and support for children of ill parents. Trial registration: The study is approved by the Regional Committee on Medical and Health Research Etics South-East ( 2012/1176) and by the Privacy Ombudsmann.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number609
    Number of pages11
    JournalBMC Health Services Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2018


    • Child responsible personnel
    • Children as next of kin
    • Children of ill parents
    • Hospital
    • Implementation
    • Law
    • Parental illness
    • Policy
    • Prevention

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