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Social participation interventions for adults with mental health problems: A review and narrative synthesis

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JournalSocial Work Research
DateAccepted/In press - 30 Oct 2014
DatePublished (current) - 3 Jul 2015
Issue number3
Volume39
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)167-180
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

People with mental health problems remain a highly socially excluded group despite international efforts to facilitate their inclusion. Enhancing their social participation—building trusting relationships and engaging in community activities—is an important role for mental health social workers, but there is a lack of evidence-informed interventions to enable workers to achieve this goal. This article fills a gap in knowledge by systematically reviewing evidence of the effectiveness of interventions that aim to enhance the social participation of adults with mental health problems in their wider communities, outside of formal mental health services. A systematic review and modified narrative synthesis methodology was used. Sixteen articles reporting 14 unique interventions met the inclusion criteria, and findings across the studies were categorized by delivery mode and intervention strategy. Positive outcomes were found in asset-based approaches, social skills development, building trusting relationships between workers and service users, and resource finding to enhance community participation. However, only four studies were found to have a low overall risk of bias. The findings of this review suggest further evidence-informed interventions, and robust evaluations, are needed as current evidence is limited to inform mental health social work practice.

    Research areas

  • social networks, Interventions, Mental health

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