Objective: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a group psychosocial intervention for children (aged 12–18) of a parent with mental illness (copmi).
Method: A treatment and waitlist-control design study with pre- and post-treatment, and 8 week follow up, was carried out. The treatment (n = 27) and control (n=17) groups were compared on three groups of dependent variables: intervention targets (mental health literacy, connectedness, coping strategies), adjustment (depression, life satisfaction, prosocial behaviour, emotional/behavioural difficulties), and caregiving experiences.
Results: Group comparisons failed to show statistically significant intervention effects, but reliable clinical change analyses suggested that compared to the control group, more intervention participants had clinically significant improvements in mental health literacy, depression, and life satisfaction. These treatment gains were maintained 8 weeks after treatment. Participant satisfaction data supported these treatment gains.
Conclusions: Given study limitations and the modest support for intervention effectiveness it is important that this and other similar interventions should continue to be revised and undergo rigorous evaluation.