Tag Archive: improvement

Animal-assisted Therapy

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Animals are an important part of many people’s lives — their mere presence can contribute to human’s happiness, making their life more meaningful. However, animals may do more than just provide companionship.

New research suggests they can improve emotional, social and cognitive functioning in adolescents with severe mental disorders. The study, published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, examined the effects of animal-assisted therapy, which is an intervention involving guided interaction between a patient and a trained animal. The purpose of this intervention is to aid a patient’s recovery process.

“The young patients who feel fragile, needy and dependent on others in the hospital context, can experience themselves as caretakers of someone else in the [animal-assisted therapy] environment,” researchers said, according to The Pacific Standard. “This experience can improve their sense of self-agency and self-cure, and these positive effects are not only limited to the human-animal bond, but can be extended to the patient’s global functioning and to the entire process of care.”

Source: medicaldaily.com – Read more here

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What Works to Enhance Inter-Parental Relationships and Improve Outcomes for Children?

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The Early Intervention Foundation have carried out a review of ‘What works to enhance inter-parental relationships and improve outcomes for children.

Key findings include:

  • The quality of the inter-parental relationship, specifically how parents communicate and relate to each other, is increasingly recognised as a primaryinfluence on effective parenting practices and children’s long-term mental health and future life chances.
  • Parents/couples who engage in frequent, intense and poorly resolved inter-parental conflicts put children’s mental health and long-term life chances at risk.
  • Children of all ages can be affected by destructive inter-parental conflict, with effects evidenced across infancy, childhood, adolescence and adulthood.
  • The context of the wider family environment is an important factor that can protect or exacerbate child outcomes in response to exposure to inter-parental conflict. In particular, levels of negativity and parenting practices can exacerbate or moderate the impact of inter-parental conflict on children.
  • Inter-parental conflict can adversely affect both the mother-child and father-child relationship, with evidence suggesting that the association between inter-parental conflict and negative parenting practices may be stronger for the father-child relationship compared to the mother-child relationship.

http://www.eif.org.uk/

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Relationships between parents and schools

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Improved relationships between parents and schools are particularly important in sustaining positive outcomes for young people. (From:https://www.gov.uk)

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Patient and family-centred care (PFCC) enables healthcare organisations to work collaboratively with patients and their families to enhance and improve their care experiences. Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has implemented a PFCC model that is supported by a number of strategies including ‘shadowing’, which involves closely following patients and their families throughout their care experiences. http://tinyurl.com/k49a4d6

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Providing multiple interventions within families is important in improving young people’s outcomes. From https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/intervening-to-improve-outcomes-for-vulnerable-young-people-a-review-of-the-evidence

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Support plans include a record of the key outcomes and targets to be achieved (e.g. improved family functioning, improved household management skills, reduction in antisocial behaviour). From https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/intervening-to-improve-outcomes-for-vulnerable-young-people-a-review-of-the-evidence

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It is important that staff teams are enabled to carry out reflective learning as this helps to maintain staff motivation and skills and improve practice. From https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/c07-tier4-ch-ado-mh-serv-child.pdf

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Strong links with community agencies and in particular with Tier 3 – an outward looking treatment ethos – need to be worked on. Similarly, in-patient staff need to be encouraged to think about what they can offer to help improve support to young people on discharge. (See YoungMinds’ Where Next)

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A focus on earlier intervention and prevention helps to improve outcomes and support transition between services.

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Imaginal experiences

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If evidence of achievement is yet to be experienced, staff can use ‘imaginal experiences’ to create a desired future image of oneself – one’s Best Possible Self. Encourage the young person to write, or visually create, a future auto-portrait following these instructions:

‘Imagine that you’ve achieved what you aimed for, that your best potentials have come to be realised. Write about and vividly imagine yourself in that future.’

This exercise enhances confidence and optimism, helps achieve a better integration between priorities and goals, and increases happiness. The idea is to make the Best Possible Self tangible enough to encourage actions, to make sure this future self comes true.

Adapted from Boniwell 2015 – read more here

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