A study conducted in America found that 50% of parents do not follow through with the recommendations made in their children’s psychological reports. Possible reasons include the lack of managed care and expensive psychological assessments. In South Africa, Alexander Forbes Health has reported that fewer South Africans are claiming for mental health treatment since 2011, despite the fact that mental health challenges are increasing, thus supporting the American notion that not all recommendations are followed through.
This study seeks to investigate South African parental responses to recommendations made by educational psychologists after assessment, using Bronfenbrenner’s bio-ecological systems theory, the Health Belief model and the Therapeutic Alliance theory as a foundation. A quantitative approach was followed with self-developed electronic-questionnaires sent to survey parental responses to recommendations at a training facility for educational psychologists. 47 e-questionnaires were sent out, and 13 parents responded.
Descriptive analysis revealed that eight of the thirteen caregivers followed through with more than half to all of the suggested recommendations, challenging the results of the above-mentioned study. The high rate of compliance might be attributed to the training model followed at the training facility.
Challenges experienced by 66.67% of the caregivers were that time, finances and medical aid funds were unavailable. 5% of the caregivers indicated that stigma or judgement from significant others held them back to follow through with the suggested recommendations.
A contribution of the study lies in the model derived to understand parental adherence to recommendations. A major limitation is the small number of responses.