Leadership perspectives on key elements influencing implementing a family-focused intervention in mental health services

Becca Allchin, Melinda Goodyear, Brendan O’Hanlon, Bente M. Weimand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


What is known on the subject?: Family-focused interventions in Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) address the needs of families where a parent is diagnosed with a mental illness. One of these interventions is the “Let's Talk about Children” programme (Let's Talk) (Solantaus & Toikka, 2006 International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 8(3), 37). There is limited implementation knowledge on family-focused interventions. A body of research to better understand the transfer of evidence-based interventions into everyday practice has identified multiple influencing elements. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) has combined these known elements from research into five domains of influence. Elements that influence the implementation of evidence-based practice are inter-related and need to be understood in combination. Understanding different stakeholder perspectives on implementation in real-world settings helps to understand uptake, challenges and opportunities. What the paper adds to existing knowledge?: As the first study to document leadership's perspectives of implementing Let's Talk, this paper contributes to the evidence base on their role in implementing family-focused practice models in mental health. There are specific roles of leadership that need to be addressed to support implementing Let's Talk in changing environments. Leadership's knowledge of Let's Talk and approach to change influences implementation. Questions are raised about the role the readiness of the parent and the impact that the dynamic process between the practitioner and parent has on implementing Let's Talk. What are the implications for practice?: Engaging leadership needs to address the influence of their different organizational roles in shaping implementation for Let's Talk. Further research is needed to understand the dynamic process between parent and practitioner that influences readiness for trialling Let's Talk. Abstract: Introduction Different stakeholder's perspectives are needed to understand challenges and opportunities in implementing and sustaining evidence-based practices (EBP) in real-world settings. Aim/Question To identify leadership perspectives on key elements influencing the process of implementation of Let's Talk about Children (Let's Talk), a family-focused practice for practitioners working with parents diagnosed with a mental illness. Method Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 service managers and implementation leads, to establish their views on key elements influencing implementation of Let's Talk during a randomized controlled trial. A thematic analysis applied both inductive and deductive approaches, using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Results Impacts to effective translation to practice were grouped into three broad themes with eight subthemes: inner and outer setting impacting organization, leadership affecting readiness and parent and practitioner readiness. Discussion The findings suggest that specific roles for leadership are vital to implementation within an environment of constant change, and more attention is needed to understand the dynamics of parent and practitioner readiness for delivering Let's Talk. Implications for practice Different leadership roles need to be engaged to sustain Let's Talk in changing real-world environments. The dynamic processes between parent and practitioner are suggested to influence readiness and need further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)616-627
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • consolidated framework for implementation research (CFIR)
  • implementation
  • leadership
  • let’s talk about children
  • managerial support
  • parents diagnosed with a mental illness

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