Today, Meredith tells us about her work with Sharon on the systematic reviews:
“Sharon and Meredith have been busy over the summer completing three related systematic reviews. The purpose of these reviews was to identify research focussed on health and social care interventions that promote the enhancement of social networks for 1) adults and 2) older adults with mental health needs, and 3) adults with a learning disability.
With only 26 studies across the three reviews meeting inclusion criteria, the small sample limits the overall findings of effectiveness. The diverse studies that were identified provide evidence for the use health and social care interventions across a range of mental health needs. Additionally, several key features were found across numerous successful interventions that are also components in the Connecting People Intervention (CPI) Model: strengths- and asset-based approaches such as goal setting, problem-solving techniques, social skill development; an aim to enhance the worker/service user relationship; and engagement in activities for which participants had an existing interest. Whilst results from the small sample should be considered with caution, we also consider these key features integral aspects of the CPI model.
The findings from these reviews underline the assertion that future interventions are needed to enhance social network development in vulnerable adults with mental health needs. The three reviews offer the most comprehensive assessment of the evidence of interventions aimed to enhance social participation and wellbeing in mental health populations to date. There is a clear gap in evidence for effective health and social care interventions, and the few studies that are available reflect the disparate nature of research in this field.
We are currently in the process of submitting the reviews for publication and will keep you updated on the progress in coming months. If you’re not currently subscribed to the blog, please enter your email address on the right side of the Home page and we will be sure to let you know when the reviews have been published”