Background: Family intervention in schizophrenia can reduce patient relapse and improve medication adherence, but few studies on this have involved a Chinese population. Aims: To examine the effects of a mutual support group for Chinese families of people with schizophrenia, compared with psychoeducation and standard care. Method: Randomised controlled trial in Hong Kong with 96 families of out-patients with schizophrenia, of whom 32 received mutual support, 33 psychoeducation and 31 standard care. The psychoeducation group included patients in all the sessions, the mutual support group did not. Intervention was provided over 6 months, and patient- and family-related psychosocial outcomes were compared over an 18-month follow-up. Results: Mutual support consistently produced greater improvement in patient and family functioning and caregiver burden over the intervention and follow-up periods, compared with the other two conditions. The number of readmissions did not decrease significantly, but their duration did. Conclusions: Mutual support for families of Chinese people with schizophrenia can substantially benefit family and patient functioning and caregiver burden. Declaration of interest: None. Study funded by Health Care & Promotion Fund, Hong Kong.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health