Objectives: There is a lack of research into parenting interventions for families which include a parent experiencing psychosis or other serious mental illness (SMI). Preliminary findings highlight the potential benefits of adult mental health practitioners supporting parents experiencing SMI by using self-directed parenting interventions. This study explored beliefs relating to parenting and psychosis held by practitioners working in adult mental health settings, specifically examining their beliefs about the parenting needs of adults experiencing psychosis who have dependent children, as well as their role as adult mental health practitioners.
Design: This study used Q methodology to explore the beliefs of mental health practitioners on psychosis and parenting.
Methods: Twenty-one adult mental health practitioners ranked 58 items according to how much they agreed with the belief statement presented. Participants also provided additional written information and interviews to contextualise the Q methodology data.
Results: Three factors emerged representing three groups of practitioners with similar beliefs around psychosis and parenting. Factors were labelled: ‘Parenting interventions are worthwhile, and I’d deliver them’, ‘Parenting interventions are worthwhile, but I’m not confident to deliver them’, and ‘Parenting interventions might be worthwhile, but it’s not my responsibility’.
Conclusion: Using parenting interventions as part of their clinical work was acceptable to most practitioners; however, some lacked confidence in their ability to work in a family-focused way. Efforts now need to focus on enhancing practitioners’ skill, knowledge and confidence in family-focused approaches to provide increased and improved support to families which include a parent experiencing psychosis or other SMI.