Over the last 10 years the interest in the development and implementation of preventive measures for these children has grown quickly. Especially in the United States, The Netherlands and some other European countries a range of promising preventive measures for different age levels have been developed and implemented, among others video-training for depressed mothers and babies, teaching mothers to apply massage techniques on their babies, parent education,
educational materials for children in different age groups, play groups for young children, self help groups for adolescent children, extrafamilial support, introduction of preventive protocols in treatment practices and emergency clinics, and training of primary care and improving quality of collaboration between adult-oriented and child-oriented services. Some interventions are focused at the children, others at the disturbed parent, the healthy parent, the social network, peers, therapists and at the community at large. After a start in the late 80's, in The Netherlands almost all the community mental health centers are currently implementing preventive interventions for this risk population.
Although the outcomes of these interventions have been evaluated poorly, several recent control studies have shown positive results. Several of these interventions and their outcomes will be discussed. To increase the efficacy and effectiveness of these interventions it is important to apply recent in the principles of effective prevention, which are studied in current prevention science.
The prevention of transgenerational transfer of psychiatric disorders offers significant opportunity to reduce future psychiatric morbidity. Preventive interventions could be integrated in current mental health care and primary care. A plea is made for a range of multisite controlled studies to test the efficacy and the effectiveness of these interventions. To enhance the development of efficacious preventive model programs new initiatives have been taken to enhance international collaboration.
C. M.H. Hosman (1), K. van Doesum (2)
(1) Professor of Mental Health Promotion and Prevention of Mental Disorders
Department of Health Education, Maastrich University
(2) Researcher at the Research Group Prevention and Psychopathology
University of Nijmegen