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Bibliography: Relational Family-Level Intervention Research

This bibliography offers a resource list of published integrative reviews and meta-analyses which examine the usefulness of relational family-level interventions in health care. Relational family-level interventions address family relationships and the reciprocal relationship between families and illness and are distinct from psycho-educational interventions (focused on conveying knowledge and coping skills related to the health challenge). For more information about the classification of family-level interventions, see the article below by Chesla (2010).

Updated: September 2019

Integrative Reviews and Synthesis Research Publications re: Relational Family-Level Interventions

Armour, T. A., Norris, S. L., Jack, L., Jr., Zhang, H., & Fisher, L. (2004). The effectiveness of family interventions in people with diabetes mellitus: A systematic review. Diabetes Medicine, 22, 1295-1305. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2005.01618.x

Berry, D., Sheehan, R., Heschel, R., Knafl, K., Melkus, G., & Grey, M. (2004). Family-based interventions for childhood obesity: A review. Journal of Family Nursing, 10, 429-449. doi: doi:10.1177/1074840704269848

Campbell, T. L. (2003) The effectiveness of family interventions for physical disorders. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 29(2), 263-281. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2003.tb01204.x

Carr, A. (2009). The effectiveness of family therapy and systemic interventions for child focused problems. Journal of Family Therapy, 31, 3-45. doi:10.1111/j.1467-6427.2008.00451.x

Chesla, C. A. (2010). Do family interventions improve health? Journal of Family Nursing, 16, 355-377. doi: 10.1177/1074840710383145

Collins, L. M., Kugler, K. C., & Gwadz, M. V. (2015). Optimization of multicomponent behavioral and biobehavioral interventions for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS. AIDS and Behavior20, Supplement 1, pp-197-214. doi: 10.1007/s10461-015-1145-4

Fisher, L. (2006). Research on the family and chronic disease among adults: Major trends and directions.  Families, Systems, & Health, 24(4), 373-380. doi: 10.1037/1091-7527.24.4.373

Gilliss, C. L., Pan, W., & Davis, L. L. (2019). Family involvement in adult chronic disease care: Reviewing the systematic reviews. Journal of Family Nursing, 25, 3-27.

Kazak, A. E. (2005). Evidence-based interventions for survivors of childhood cancer and their families. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 30, 29-39. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsi013

Knafl, K. A., Havill, N. L., Leeman, J., Fleming, L., Crandell, J. L., & Sandelowski, M. (2016). The nature of family engagement in interventions for children with chronic conditions. Western Journal of Nursing Research. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/0193945916664700

Hartmann, M., Bazner, E., Wild, B., Eisler, I., & Herzog, W. (2010). Effects of interventions involving the family in the treatment of adult patients with chronic diseases: A meta-analysis. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 79, 136-148. doi:10.1159/000286958

Hilliard, M. E., Powell, P. W., & Anderson, B. J. (2016). Evidence-based behavioral interventions to promote diabetes management in children, adolescents, and families. Amican Psychologist, 71(7), 590–601. doi: 10.1037/a0040359

Leeman, J., Crandell, J. L., Lee, A., Bai, J., Sandelowski, M., & Knafl, K. (2016). Family functioning and the well-being of children with chronic conditions: A meta-analysis. Research in Nursing and Health, 39(4), 229–243. doi: 10.1002/nur.21725

Lister, Z., Fox, C., & Wilson, C. M. (2013). Couples and diabetes: A 30-year narrative review of dyadic relational research.  Contemporary Family Therapy, 35(4), 613-638. doi: 10.1007/s10591-013-9250-x

Lohan, A., Morawska, A., & Mitchell, A. (2015). A systematic review of parenting interventions for parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Child: Care, Health and Development41(6), 803-817. doi: 10.1111/cch.12278

Martire, L. M. (2005). The “relative” efficacy of involving family in psychosocial interventions for chronic illness: Are there added benefits to patients and family members? Families, Systems, & Health, 23(3), 312-328. doi:10.1037/1091-7527.23.3.312

Martire, L. M., Lustig, A. P., Schulz, R., Miller, G. E., & Helgeson, V. S. (2004). Is it beneficial to involve a family member? A meta-analysis of psychosocial interventions for chronic illness. Health Psychology23(6), 599–611. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.23.6.599

Martire, L. M., Schulz, R., Helgeson, V. S., Small, B. J., & Saghafi, E. M. (2010). Review and meta-analysis of couple-oriented interventions for chronic illness. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 40, 325-342. doi: 10.1007/s12160-010-9216-2

Mattila, E., Leino, K., Paavilainen, E., & Åstedt-Kurki, P. (2009). Nursing intervention studies on patients and family members: A systematic literature review. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 23, 611-622. doi:10.1111/j.1471-6712.2088.00652.x

McBroom, L. A., & Enriquez, M. (2009). Review of family-centered interventions to enhance the health outcomes of children with type 1 diabetes. The Diabetes Educator, 35, 428-438. doi:10.1177/0145721709332814

Meyler, E., Guerin, S., Kiernan, G., & Breatnach, F. (2010).  Review of family-based psychosocial interventions for childhood cancer.  Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35(10), 1116-1132. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsq032

Östlund, U., & Persson, C. (2014). Examining family responses to Family Systems Nursing interventions: An integrative review.  Journal of Family Nursing, 20, 259-286. doi:10.1177/1074840714542962

Prchal, A., & Landolt, M.A. (2009). Psychological interventions with siblings of cancer patients: A systematic review.  Psycho-Oncology, 18, 1231-1251. doi: 10.1002/pon.1565

Robles, T. F., Slatcher, R. B., Trombello, J. M., & McGinn, M. M. (2014). Marital quality and health: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 140,

Rosland, A.M., Heisler, M., & Piette, J.D. (2011). The impact of family behaviors and communication patterns on chronic illness outcomes: A systematic review.  Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 35(2):221-39. doi:10.1007/s10865-011-9354-4

Shields, C. G., Finley, M. A., Chawla, N., & Meadors, P. (2012). Couple and family interventions in health problems. Journal of Marital & Family Therapy, 38(1)265-280. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00269.x

Torenholt, R., Schwennesen, N. & Willaing, I. (2014). Lost in translation—the role of family in interventions among adults with diabetes: A systematic review. Diabetic Medicine, 31, 15–23. doi: 10.1111/dme.12290

Weihs, K., Fisher, L., & Baird, M. (2002). Families, health, and behavior: A section of the commissioned report by the Committee on Health and Behavior: Research, Practice, and Policy Division of Neuroscience and Behavioral Health and Division of Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences. Families, Systems, & Health, 20(1), 7-46. doi:10.1037/h0089481

Conceptual Publications re: Relational Family-Level Intervention Research

Fisher, L. (2006). Families, systems & health research on the family and chronic disease among adults: Major trends and directions. Families, Systems, & Health, 24(4), 373-380.

Ganong, L. (2011). Return of the “Intimate Outsider”: Current trends and issues in family nursing research revisited.  Journal of Family Nursing, 17(4), 416-440.

Ganong, L., & Coleman, M. (2014). Qualitative research on family relationships. Journal of Social & Personal Relationships, 31(4), 451-459. doi: 10.1177/0265407514520828

Larsen, A., & Olson, D. H. (1990). Capturing the complexity of family systems: Integrating family theory, family scores, and family analysis. In T.W. Draper & A. Marcos (Eds.), Family variables: Conceptualization measurement, and use (pp. 19-47).  Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Loveland-Cherry, C. J. (2006). Where is the family in family interventions? [Guest Editorial].  Journal of Family Nursing, 12(1), 4-6.  doi: 10.1177/1074840705285209

Marshall, C. A., Larkey, L. K., Curran, M. A., Weihs, K. L., Badger, T. A., Armin, J., & Garcia, F. (2011). Considerations of culture and social class for families facing cancer: The need for a new model for health promotion and psychosocial intervention. Families, Systems, & Health, 29(2), 81-94. doi: 10.1037/a0023975

Sprenkle, D. H. (2012). Intervention research in couple and family therapy: A methodological and substantive review and an introduction to the special issue. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38(1), 3-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00271.x

Tomlinson, P. S. & Astedt-Kurki, A. (2008).  A systemic view of family health [Guest Editorial]. Scandinavian Journal of Caring Sciences, 22(1), 1-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-6712.2007.00587.x

Research Reports of Relational Family-Level Interventions in Family Nursing

Bell, J. M. (2015). Growing the science of Family Systems Nursing: Family health intervention research focused on illness suffering and family healing [L’avancement de la recherché sur l’intervention infirmiere systémique en santé familiale: bilan]. In F. Duhamel (Ed.), La santé et la famille: Une approche systémique en soins infirmiers [Families and health: A systemic approach in nursing care] (3rd ed., 102-125.) Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Gaëtan Morin editeur, Chenelière Éducation. [in French] English language translation available from U of C Institutional Repository, PRISM:

Bell, J. M., & Wright, L. M. (2007). La recherché sur la pratique des soins infirmiers à la famille [Research on family interventions]. In F. Duhamel (Ed.), La santé et la famille: Une approche systémique en soins infirmiers [Families and health: A systems approach in nursing care] (2nd ed., pp. 87-105). Montreal, Quebec, Canada: Gaëtan Morin editeur, Chenelière Éducation. [in French] (an English version of this book chapter is available for public access on DSpace, University of Calgary Library:

Published research reports focused on Family Systems Nursing intervention research [learn more]

Published family nursing intervention research reports from the Landspitali University Hospital Family Nursing Implementation Project, Iceland [learn more]

Resources for Developing an Integrative Review/Synthesis Research

Cooper, H. M. (2010). Research synthesis and meta-analysis: A step-by-step approach (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Knafl, K. A. (2015). Family synthesis research: Possibilities and challenges [Editorial]. Journal of Family Nursing, 21(1), 3–10. doi:10.1177/1074840714568740

Gough, D., Oliver, S., & Thomas, J. (2012). An introduction to systematic reviews.  London, United Kingdom: SAGE.

Higgins, J., & Green S. (Eds.). (2008). Cochrane Handbook for systematic reviews of interventions. New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.

Sandelowski, M., & Barroso, J. (2007). Handbook for synthesizing qualitative research. New York, NY: Springer.

Whittemore, R., & Knafl, K. (2005). The integrative review: Updated methodology.  Journal of Advanced Nursing, 52(5), 546-553. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03621.x.  Retrieved from

The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) is the international not-for-profit, research and development arm of the School of Translational Science based within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. This Institute has played a leading role in the synthesis of family research.