Effectiveness of a mutual support group for families of patients with schizophrenia

Chien, Wai Tong, Chan, Sally, Morrissey, Jean and Thompson, David (2005) Effectiveness of a mutual support group for families of patients with schizophrenia. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 51 6: 595-608. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03545.x

Author Chien, Wai Tong
Chan, Sally
Morrissey, Jean
Thompson, David
Title Effectiveness of a mutual support group for families of patients with schizophrenia
Journal name Journal of Advanced Nursing   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1365-2648
Publication date 2005-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2005.03545.x
Volume 51
Issue 6
Start page 595
End page 608
Total pages 14
Editor A. Tierney
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Collection year 2005
Language eng
Subject C1
1110 Nursing
Abstract Aim. This paper reports a study to examine the effectiveness of a 12-session mutual support group for Chinese families caring for a relative with schizophrenia compared with a psycho-educational group and routine family support services in Hong Kong. Background. Schizophrenia is a disruptive and distressing illness for patients and their families. With the current trend of community care for mental illness, there is evidence that family intervention reduces patient relapse and re-hospitalization, satisfies the health needs of families and enhances their coping capabilities. Methods. A randomized controlled trial was conducted from May 2002 to June 2003 with 96 Chinese families of a relative with schizophrenia selected from two psychiatric outpatient clinics in Hong Kong. Families were randomly assigned to receive mutual support (n = 32), psycho-education (n = 33) or standard care only (n = 31). The interventions were delivered at outpatient clinics over a 6-month period. Pre- and post- (1 week and 6 months) testing took place and families' functioning, mental health service utilization, patients' level of functioning and duration of re-hospitalization were measured. Results. At both post-test periods, family caregivers and patients in the mutual support group reported statistically significant improvements on family and patients' level of functioning, when compared with their counterparts in the psycho-education and standard care groups. Conclusions. The findings support the use of mutual support groups as an effective modality of family intervention in a Chinese population caring for a family member with schizophrenia to improve both family and patient functioning.
Keyword clinical effectiveness
family group intervention
mutual support
randomized controlled trial
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 07:41:33 EST