Worldwide maternal mental illness poses a major public health issue. Supporting maternal
mental health and family health is a core aspect of home visiting. Increasingly the benefits of
family focused treatments to maternal mental illness are being recognised. However, there
are few reliable and valid measures that attempt to assess this type of practice.
To explore the psychometric properties of the Family Focused Mental Health Practice Questionnaire
in a population of home visitors.
Home visitors (n = 230) from across a single region of the United Kingdom completed the
Family Focused Mental Health Practice Questionnaire. Participants were all females, had a
mean age of 44 years, and had an average of 11 years’ experience of home visiting. Exploratory
factor analysis was used to explore the factor structure of the questionnaire in this population
while Cronbach’s alpha was used to assess the internal consistency of questionnaire
Exploratory factor analysis revealed a 3-factor solution where each factor contained at least
three questionnaire items and had eigenvalues 1.0. Checks for internal consistency
revealed that one factor was unsatisfactory (α < 0.6), which was subsequently discarded. A
further exploratory factor analysis supported a 2 factor solution. The factors were named:
professional influences on family focused practice and organisational influences on family
focused practice. Cronbach’s alpha for the new scale was 0.949.
As home visitors play a key role in supporting parents who have mental illness and their families,
it is important to assess their practice using a reliable measure. Our psychometric evaluation
has created a more valid, reliable and concise measure that can be used to examine
home visitors’ family focused practice.
Rights statement: Copyright 2018 the authors.
This is an open access article published under a Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the author and source are cited.