The topic of parent carers’ health and wellbeing was initially brought up in a PenCRU Family Faculty meeting. Since then we have worked on developing the programme, which is guided by three groups:
1. Parent carers from the PenCRU Family Faculty, who meet regularly to discuss and provide feedback on each of the stages of the programme development and testing;
2. Stakeholders, such as members of relevant organisations and charities; and
3. Experts in health-related psychological and behavioural interventions.
The programme has been developed using an iterative approach in the following stages:
1) Assessing the need for a new intervention:
To do that we talked to parent carers, stakeholders and other experts, and reviewed the existing literature.
2) Identifying programme objectives and delivery methods:
We identified the aims of the new intervention and the ways in which it could be delivered.
3) Designing programme components:
We designed the programme materials, such as the Healthy Parent Carers Guide, online materials, and a facilitator manual to deliver group sessions.
4) Testing the delivery of the programme:
We have tested the practical issues involved in the programme delivery and gained feedback from parent carers participating in a pilot study. This feedback will guide the next steps of its development and testing.
5) Revising of the programme and planning future evaluation:
We have been using the findings from the feasibility study to refine the programme and to develop an implementation study. In the study we will be working with two leading charities to test whether the programme can be delivered successfully in ‘real world settings’ and therefore could be eventually delivered across the UK and also internationally.