• Bedtime Routine Characteristics and Activities in Families with Young Children in the North of England

      Kitsaras, George; orcid: 0000-0002-1631-1730; email: george.kitsaras@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk; Goodwin, Michaela; orcid: 0000-0002-0375-3118; email: michaela.goodwin@manchester.ac.uk; Allan, Julia; orcid: 0000-0001-7287-8363; email: j.allan@abdn.ac.uk; Kelly, Michael P.; orcid: 0000-0002-2029-5841; email: mk744@medschl.cam.ac.uk; Pretty, Iain A.; email: iain.a.pretty@manchester.ac.uk (MDPI, 2021-08-26)
      Bedtime routines have been shown to have significant associations with health, wellbeing and development outcomes for children and parents. Despite the importance of bedtime routines, most research has been carried out in the United States, with little information on bedtime routine characteristics and activities for families in other countries such as the United Kingdom and England in particular. Additionally, little is known about the possible effects of weekends vs. weekdays on the quality of bedtime routines. Finally, traditional, retrospective approaches have been most used in capturing data on bedtime routines, limiting our understanding of a dynamic and complex behaviour. The aim of this study was to explore bedtime routine characteristics and activities in families in the North of England with a real-time, dynamic data collection approach and to examine possible effects of weekend nights on the quality of bedtime routines. In total, 185 parents with children ages 3 to 7 years old provided data around their bedtime routine activities using an automated text-survey assessment over a 7-night period. Information on socio-economic and demographic characteristics were also gathered during recruitment. A small majority of parents managed to achieve all crucial elements of an optimal bedtime routine every night, with 53% reporting brushing their children’s teeth every night, 25% reading to their children every night and 30% consistently putting their children to bed at the same time each night. Results showed significant differences between weekend (especially Saturday) and weekday routines (F(1, 100) = 97.584, p 0.001), with an additional effect for parental employment (F(1, 175) = 7.151, p 0.05). Results highlight variability in bedtime routine activities and characteristics between families. Many families undertook, in a consistent manner, activities that are closely aligned with good practices and recommendations on what constitutes an optimal bedtime routine, while others struggled. Routines remained relatively stable during weekdays but showed signs of change over the weekend. Additional studies on mechanisms and elements affecting the formation, development and maintenance of bedtime routines are needed alongside studies on supporting and assisting families to achieve optimal routines.
    • The implementation of family‐focused practice in adult mental health services: A systematic review exploring the influence of practitioner and workplace factors

      Gregg, Lynsey; orcid: 0000-0001-5683-5574; email: lynsey.gregg@manchester.ac.uk; Adderley, Hope; Calam, Rachel; Wittkowski, Anja (2021-04-01)
      Abstract: There is increased recognition of the need for greater and more appropriate support to be offered to families in which a parent experiences mental illness and has dependent children. One way of meeting this need is for adult mental health services to take a more family‐focused approach. However, there are recognized difficulties in facilitating family‐focused practice (FFP). The current review systematically synthesized quantitative and qualitative literature of practitioner perspectives and experiences of FFP in adult mental health settings to identify modifiable factors associated with its successful implementation. Five databases were searched systematically leading to the inclusion and quality assessment of 19 papers, ten of which were quantitative and nine qualitative. Analysis was guided by a narrative synthesis approach. Factors shown to influence FFP functioned at both practitioner and workplace levels and included personal attitudes, beliefs about job role, and perceptions of workplace support. Practitioners who felt that a family‐focussed approach was inappropriate or detrimental to service users or outside of their remit as mental health professionals were less likely to adopt this approach. For those who saw the potential benefits of FFP, lack of confidence in their ability to deliver such an approach and lack of training can be barriers, as can lack of support and resources within services. This review highlights the need for actions to boost the awareness of adult mental health practitioners working with parents and to increase their confidence. It also makes the case for broader organizational support if family‐focussed practice is to be implemented successfully.