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Clinical Study Protocol ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00606

Promotion of well-being for children of parents with mental illness: A model protocol for research and intervention.

  • 1UiT The Arctic University of Norway, Norway
  • 2Onderzoeker Mindfit, Team Preventie, Nijmegen, the Netherlands, Netherlands
  • 3Unità Operativa di Psichiatria Epidemiologica e Valutativa, Centro San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli (IRCCS), Italy
  • 4Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Netherlands
  • 5Research and Development, Pluryn, Netherlands
  • 6Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London, United Kingdom
  • 7South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
  • 8Département de Psychiatrie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Switzerland
  • 9Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
  • 10Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany
  • 11School of Medicine, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Australia
  • 12Barwon Health, Australia
  • 13Mood Brain & Development Unit, Emotion and Development Branch, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), United States
  • 14Université du Québec en Outaouais, Canada

Background: The main objective of this project is to create a research and intervention model to promote large-scale implementation and evaluations of generic very brief interventions for children of parents with mental disorders (COPMI). Feasible interventions for COPMI aged 0-18 years are highly needed, as this is a large high-risk group in society. Reducing behavioral problems and enhancing wellbeing for families with parents affected by any mental disorder is an important preventive initiative. One key prevention strategy is to reduce the risk and expression of psychopathology in children and to promote wellbeing. The present model protocol offers an intervention for children of parents with mental disorders internationally based on a model already implemented in the Netherlands and Norway. Methods: Participants will be parents receiving treatment in mental health services in participating countries and their minor children aged 8-16 years. Participants should be randomized into an intervention group or control group. Data should be retrieved from electronic patient journals (demographics, DSM 5/ ICD-10, SCID, MINI) as well as from assessment measures administered at baseline and follow-up, including the KIDSCREEN-27, Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), Parents’ evaluations of developmental status (PEDS), Parenting Sense of Competence (PSOC), Resilience Scale for Adolescence (READ), Guilt and Shame Questionnaire for Adolescents of Parents with Mental Illness (GSQ-APMI), Mental Health Literacy Scale and Parent-Child Communication Scale. Results: The hypothesis is that there will be improvements of child behavioral and emotional problems, and outcomes in the project will be reported in terms of parent´s diagnosis, child behavioural and emotional problems, child wellbeing, family communication and functioning, as well as participants’ satisfaction. Discussion: This multi-site international protocol will focus the attention of European scientific and policy makers towards COPMI. This young segment of the population is presently almost completely neglected in most European health policies, despite having a large burden of disability and being at risk of transgenerational transmission of psychopathology. We will further discuss the feasibility of a very brief intervention aiming at preventing mental disorders in young people.

Keywords: Children of parents with mental illness, risk and protective factors, mental health care for adults, prevention, wellbeing

Received: 16 Jul 2018; Accepted: 30 Jul 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Reedtz, Doesum, Signorini, Camilla, Van Amelsvoort, van Santvoort, Young, Conus, Musil, Schulze, Berk, Stringaris, Piché and De Girolamo. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
PhD. giulia Signorini, Unità Operativa di Psichiatria Epidemiologica e Valutativa, Centro San Giovanni di Dio Fatebenefratelli (IRCCS), Brescia, Italy, gsignorini@fatebenefratelli.eu
Prof. Philippe Conus, Département de Psychiatrie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, Lausanne, Switzerland, Philippe.Conus@chuv.ch