Background: The opinions of relatives of patients with schizophrenia about this disorder can influence its course and outcome.Aims: In 2003, the Italian Psychiatric Association promoted a study on family psychoeducational intervention to explore its effectiveness in improving relatives' opinions and beliefs about schizophrenia.Methods: In each of the 10 Italian mental health centres, 30 patients with schizophrenia and 30 key relatives were randomly recruited to receive the experimental intervention or the standard care. The experimental intervention consisted of 12 manual-based informative sessions on schizophrenia. Each relative filled in the self-reported questionnaire on family opinions about schizophrenia.Results: The treated sample included 107 patients and 112 relatives; the control group consisted of 105 patients and 118 relatives. In both groups, stress, traumas, heredity and family difficulties were most frequently mentioned as causing the disorder. Relatives' opinions about patients' civil rights and social competence, in particular the right to get married, to have children and to vote, improved and the belief that patients with schizophrenia are unpredictable decreased at the end of the intervention.Conclusions: These results confirm that relatives of patients with schizophrenia should receive psychoeducational interventions, particularly in Italy where family involvement in schizophrenia care is particularly frequent.
- family opinions
- psychoeducational interventions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health