The clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and acceptability of community-based interventions aimed at improving or maintaining quality of life in children of parents with serious mental illness: a systematic review

Penny Bee*, Peter Bower, Sarah Byford, Rachel Churchill, Rachel Calam, Paul Stallard, Steven Pryjmachuk, Kathryn Berzins, Maria Cary, Ming Wan, Kathryn Abel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Serious parental mental illness poses a challenge to quality of life (QoL) in a substantial number of children and adolescents. Improving the lives of these children is a political and public health concern. 

Objectives: To conduct an evidence synthesis of the clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and acceptability of community-based interventions for improving QoL in children of parents with serious mental illness (SMI).

Data sources: Nineteen health, allied health and educational databases, searched from database inception to May 2012, and supplemented with hand searches, reference checking, searches of grey literature, dissertations, ongoing research registers, forward citation tracking and key author contact.

Review methods: Inclusion criteria required >= 50% of parents to have SMI or severe depression confirmed by clinical diagnosis or baseline symptoms. Children were

Results: Three trials targeted mothers/the children of mothers with psychotic symptoms. Children were

Limitations: Included trials were of poor or unclear quality with inadequate randomisation or allocation concealment, possible attrition biases and incomplete outcome reporting. Meaningful analysis was challenged by clinical and methodological heterogeneity and insufficient data for subgroup comparisons. Children's self-reports were lacking and evidence of effect remains biased towards parent-based interventions for severely depressed mothers of infants. Generalisability to other diagnoses, older children and children of fathers with SMI is unclear. A lack of high-quality economic data prevented economic modelling.

Conclusion: Evidence for community-based interventions to enhance QoL in children of SMI parents is lacking. The capacity to recommend evidence-based approaches is limited. Rigorous development work is needed to establish feasible and acceptable child-and family-based interventions, prior to evaluating clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness via a randomised controlled trial (RCT). A substantial programme of pilot work is recommended to underpin the development of feasible and acceptable interventions for this population. Evaluations should incorporate validated, child-centred QoL outcome measures, high-quality cost data and nested, in-depth acceptability studies. New age-appropriate instruments that better reflect the life priorities and unique challenges faced by children of parents with SMI may need to be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-251
Number of pages251
JournalHealth Technology Assessment
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

Keywords

  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • BRIEF INTERPERSONAL PSYCHOTHERAPY
  • COGNITIVE-BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
  • ROUTINE PRIMARY-CARE
  • RECEIVING PSYCHIATRIC-TREATMENT
  • HOME-VISITING INTERVENTION
  • DEPRESSION RATING-SCALE
  • POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
  • POSTNATAL DEPRESSION
  • MATERNAL DEPRESSION

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