176990 Translating research into practice: Lessons from the implementation of an intervention for families living with parental mental illness

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 11:24 AM

Kathleen Biebel, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Joanne Nicholson, PhD , Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA
Background: Mental health agencies and providers are beginning to acknowledge the importance of the parenting role for adults with mental illness, and are subsequently embracing more family-focused service delivery approaches. While there is increased research supporting interventions targeting families where a mother has a mental illness, what is less understood is the process of implementing these interventions in traditional mental health agencies and systems. When implementation issues are ignored, interventions may miss their intended targets and opportunities to deliver needed services, and ultimately hinder the overall goal of the intervention, to improve the quality of life for families living with maternal mental illness. This presentation will address the challenges of taking the theory, principles, and model behind a research-based intervention (Family Options) and translating these into the day-to-day reality of serving families living with maternal mental illness in a community-based mental health agency setting (Employment Options, Inc.). Methods: Investigators used ethnographic interviewing techniques with key informants (n=8) who were directly involved with the intervention. At each interview participants were asked, “What has been happening with the implementation process?” Ninety-six (96) interviews were conducted over 23 months of data collection. Data analyses focused on exploring, identifying, and understanding emerging themes. Discussion: Findings address identifying the complex needs of mothers and families, attending to workforce issues, educating community partners, and facilitating the paradigm shift from serving adults to serving families. This research will inform agencies and providers interested in real world issues of translating research to practice.

Learning Objectives:
•Understand the role of implementation science within the context of translational research •Identify implementation issues specific to serving families living with parental mental illness

Keywords: Maternal and Child Health, Underserved Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I'm Co-I on the research project being presented in this session.
Any relevant financial relationships? Yes

Name of Organization Clinical/Research Area Type of relationship
Astra Zeneca Implementation Research Research funding provided by Astra Zeneca. This is not a drug trail, and research is not linked to any specific medications produced by AZ. Research focuses on the process of implementing a new intervention serving families living with mental illness.

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.