Evaluation of a peer-led mutual support group for Chinese families of people with schizophrenia

Wai Tong Chien, David R. Thompson, Ian Norman

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Family interventions in schizophrenia have shown positive effects on patients but little attention has been paid to their effects on family members, particularly those in non-Western countries. This randomized controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of a bi-weekly, 12-session, family-led mutual support group for Chinese caregivers of schizophrenia sufferers over 6 months compared with standard psychiatric care. It was conducted with 76 families of outpatients with schizophrenia in Hong Kong of whom 38 were assigned randomly to either a mutual support group or standard care. Families' psychosocial health status and patients' symptom severity and length of re-hospitalizations at recruitment, one-week and 12-month post-intervention were compared between groups. Results of repeated-measures mixed model indicated that the mutual support group experienced significantly greater improvements in families' burden, functioning and number of support persons and length of patients' re-hospitalizations at two post-tests. The findings provide evidence that mutual support groups can be an effective family-initiated, community-based intervention for Chinese schizophrenia sufferers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-134
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese
  • Family caregivers
  • Mutual support group
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • General Medicine
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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