In a pilot study we aimed to identify the initial experiences with and results of the program Parenting with Success and Satisfaction (PARSS), which was developed to support parents with severe mental illness based on psychiatric rehabilitation.
Methods: The outcome measures in this study were: Satisfaction with parenting reported by the parents and successful parenting reported by mental health practitioners (TOPSE, Tool to Measure Parenting Self-Efficacy), effects on empowerment (PES, Psychological Empowerment Scale), which was also observed by practitioners, and quality of life (EUROQOL-VAS and WHOQOL-BREF).
Results: The first experiences with the PARSS program were mixed. In the PARSS group, satisfaction with parenting increased after one year, but no significant difference with the control group was found. Self-reported quality of life changed during the year in both groups, but with a significantly higher change for the intervention group compared with the control group. Empowerment reported by parents did not show any changes. Fidelity measures showed that only in some cases PARSS was fully used as intended.
Conclusion: This program for mental health practitioners has the potential to function as a useful tool in supporting parents. However, since this was a pilot study, larger controlled studies are needed, with special attention to enhancing program fidelity.