Professionals’ opinions on support for people with chronic illness in their roles as parents in mental or in general health care

P.C. van der Ende, E.L. Korevaar, J.T. van Busschbach, J. van Weeghel

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Chronic illness affects a person’s wellbeing and affects the ability to perform the social roles of spouse or parent. When working with people with long-lasting mental or somatic illnesses, social workers and nurses are confronted with needs for support, especially for parents. Although programs are in place for the children of parents with chronic illnesses, specific services for the parents themselves are scarce, as are parenting support courses for professionals. In an explorative study we investigated the similarities and differences between mental health organizations and general hospitals in providing support to parents. Using a cross-sectional design, information on supported parenting was collected through an internet questionnaire. Twice as many professionals in general hospitals can provide support to parents than did those in mental health organizations that were not trained in supported parenting. Professionals in mental health institutions generally reported that the attention paid to the parental role is insufficient. However, professionals in mental health organizations who were trained in supported parenting considered paying attention to the parental role more as a part of their job than the participants from organizations without such training. Further research should expand this first pilot study on the attitude of professionals towards supported parenting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74–86
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2017


  • hospitals
  • mental health organizations
  • supported parenting
  • chronic diseases


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