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Improving Family Holistic Health in Probationers- a Mixed Methods Evaluation (NCT02770898)

Evaluating the impact of probation on probationers is necessary for both effective practice of probation officers and their assessment of the success of their work. At present, there are limited studies that have evaluated the impact of probation services on probationers and their family. There are even fewer studies that have examined interventions on probationers' well-being and family relations in a Chinese society. Compared with the general population, probationers are associated with poorer mental (e.g., depression, lower levels of self-esteem, high level of stress) and physical health, and often experience higher levels of family conflict, and poorer quality of family relationships. Given the vulnerabilities, there is a need to strengthen and promote healthy lifestyle and enhance individual and family well-being among probationers. As part of the FAMILY project, the current study focuses on "FAMILY Holistic Health" which emphasizes a comprehensive approach to improving physical, mental, and social health and well-being. This project will be conducted as a pilot project in the Social Welfare Department (SWD) in the Eastern District of Hong Kong. Interventions will be delivered to promote and enhance probationer's wellbeing, as well as enhancing FAMILY 3Hs (Happiness, Health, and Harmony). Training programs will be provided to probation officers and/or workers of SWD in order to equip them with knowledge and skills in implementing health-related family intervention programs.
  • Behavioral: Family Holistic Health
    Interventions for probationers will aim to promote physical and psychosocial health, family relationships and Family 3H (happiness, harmony and health).
    Ages eligible for Study
    13 Years and older
    Genders eligible for Study
    Accepts Healthy Volunteers
    Accepts Healthy Volunteers
    Inclusion Criteria:
    • Be an existing probationer with 6 months of term remaining
    • Reading and writing abilities for questionnaire completion
    • Have family members that are based in Hong Kong (the rationale is that one of the secondary outcome is to improve family relations)
    • Probationer does not have a developmental or intellectual disability
    • Probationer aged 13 and above (the rationale is that youth under 12 years of age may not have the cognitive ability to complete questionnaires)
    Exclusion Criteria:
    • Sexual offenders
    • Drug offenders
    To enhance individual and family well-being among probationers, family life and health education, including the skills and knowledge for physical exercise, healthy family functioning, strong communication skills, healthy interpersonal relationships, and positive self-esteem, should be strengthened and promoted. Based on the strong foundation of the FAMILY projects conducted by our research team in the past years, this project seeks to promote "FAMILY holistic health" for targeted families (i.e. probationers). The holistic health interventions are interactive and designed for behavioral changes to enhance individual well-being and encourage positive and sustainable health actions among family members. Thus, it is expected ultimately that the participants and their family members could enhance their family happiness, health, and harmony (3Hs). In sum, the project has the following contributions:

    1. Strengthen evidence-based practice Hong Kong probation-related topics are scarcely studied. There is a need for rigorous studies to build and strengthen evidence-base for probation services. This study will be one of the first studies to evaluate the effectiveness of probation services on individual well-being and family well-being utilizing a mixed-methods approach.

    2. Stakeholder engagement Stakeholders will be engaged throughout the research process. This promotes co-learning and empowering process, builds on strengths and resources within the community, and integrates knowledge and intervention for the mutual benefit of all partners.

    3. Train-the-trainer program Training will be provided to probation officers and/or workers at the Social Welfare Department. The result of this train-the-trainers program is that front-line service workers will increase and enhance their knowledge and skills to independently and effectively carry out interventions. Probation officers will act as role models for probationers and continue to implement our knowledge and techniques in their future interventions.

    1 locations

    China (1)
    • The University of Hong Kong
      Hong Kong, China
    30 June, 2015
    09 May, 2016
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