An RCT with three-year follow-up of peer support groups for Chinese families of persons with schizophrenia

Chien, Wai Tong and Thompson, David R. (2013) An RCT with three-year follow-up of peer support groups for Chinese families of persons with schizophrenia. Psychiatric Services, 64 10: 997-1005. doi:10.1176/

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Author Chien, Wai Tong
Thompson, David R.
Title An RCT with three-year follow-up of peer support groups for Chinese families of persons with schizophrenia
Journal name Psychiatric Services   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1075-2730
Publication date 2013-10-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1176/
Volume 64
Issue 10
Start page 997
End page 1005
Total pages 9
Place of publication Arlington, VA, United States
Publisher American Psychiatric Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: This study was conducted to test the effects of a nine-month family-led peer support group for Chinese people with schizophrenia in Hong Kong over a three-year follow-up and to compare outcomes with those of psychoeducation and standard psychiatric outpatient care.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial of 106 Chinese families of patients with schizophrenia was conducted between August 2007 and January 2011 in three psychiatric outpatient clinics. Families were randomly assigned to peer support (N=35), psychoeducation (N=35), or standard care (N=36). In addition to standard care received, peer support and psychoeducation consisted of 14 two-hour group sessions, with patients participating in six to 14 sessions. Multiple patient and family outcomes—including families’ support service utilization and functioning and patients’ functioning mental state and rehospitalization rate—were measured at recruitment and one week, 18 months, and 36 months after completion of the interventions.

Results: Patients and families in the peer support group reported consistently greater improvements over three years in overall functioning (family p<.005; patient p<.001) and reductions in duration and number of hospitalizations (p<.01 for both), without any increase in service utilization.

Conclusions: Family-led peer support groups were an effective intervention for Chinese people with schizophrenia, resulting in long-term effects of improving patient and family functioning and reducing rehospitalizations.
Keyword Schizophrenia
Peer support
Psychiatric outpatient care
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online in advance of print: 1 July 2013.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 12 Jul 2013, 20:54:24 EST by Vicki Percival on behalf of School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work