Objective: Cognitive representations of an illness have an important impact on psychological outcomes. The current systematic review explored 1) the characteristics of illness representations held by parents of children and adults with serious mental illness (SMI), and 2) the associations of these representations with both parents’ and patients’ psychological outcomes. Method: PSYINFO and PUBMED were screened for eligible studies published between January 2000 and August 2018. Selection was based on PRISMA guidelines. Reference lists of these papers were checked for additional references. Two independent coders extracted all relevant data. Results: The search resulted in 31 relevant studies, which were divided, by type of methodology, into three sections: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed quantitative-qualitative. In each section, findings were divided in accordance with the two research questions. Conclusion: Parents struggle to make meaning of their child's illness, often holding stigmatizing ideas about the illness and blaming themselves for its existence. More longitudinal studies that include both of the child's parents, as well as interventional studies, are needed to expand our knowledge of ways to help parents construct more beneficial representations of their children's illnesses.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Masson SAS
- Illness perception
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health