Family-based psychological interventions for domestically adoptive families: a systematic review

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Abstract

“Adopted children are often at a risk of experiencing several neurobiological and psychosocial difficulties. Adoptive parents must support these difficulties whilst managing their own idiosyncratic challenges. Family-based psychotherapeutic interventions which promote adoptive family functioning, environments and relationships can mediate these difficulties for adopted families. This review synthesises evidence exploring family-based psychological interventions for adoptive families, appraises the literature’s strengths and weaknesses, and reports characteristics of promising interventions. Included studies recruited domestically adoptive families receiving psychotherapeutic interventions delivered to at least one adoptive parent and child. The authors searched seven electronic information databases, four grey literature databases, two journals and five relevant websites up to 12.12.2022. The quantitative Risk of Bias in Non-Randomised Studies of Interventions tool and the qualitative Critical Skills Appraisal Programme checklist assessed risk of bias. The narrative synthesis presents 20 papers detailing 18 studies involving at least 729 adopted children and 829 adoptive parents. Findings provide preliminary support for integrative interventions which include aspects of sensory activities, attachment-based play, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing with Therapeutic Input provided to adopted children and adoptive parents separately, alongside the adoptive family. However, risk of bias was high, limiting the conclusions. Future research should examine the feasibility, acceptability and efficacy of integrative therapeutic approaches for adoptive families to further direct clinical practice.”

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In: European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume: 32
Issue: 7

DOI: s00787-023-02210-y

Publisher: Springer Nature (Apr 2023)

Website: Family-based psychological interventions for domestically adoptive families: a systematic review

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