Editorials

Family interventions in schizophrenia

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.313.7056.505 (Published 31 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:505
  1. Jeremy Anderson,
  2. Lie Adams
  1. Associate professor Department of Psychological Medicine, Monash Medical Centre, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia
  2. Co-ordinating editor Cochrane Schizophrenia Group, Institute of Health Sciences, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LF

    An effective but underused treatment

    The systematic review by Mari and Streiner of family interventions for people with schizophrenia,1 abstracted in a recent issue of Evidence-Based Medicine,2 confirms what mental health researchers have suspected for some time3—that such interventions reduce relapse rates, rehospitalisation, and costs of treatment and also increase compliance with medication. This is good news for schizophrenia sufferers, their families, and others involved with their care, because family interventions promise an effective strategy in schizophrenia that complements other interventions such as antipsychotic medication.4 Despite this, acceptance of the treatment into clinical services has been slow.5

    Mari and Streiner included 12 randomised controlled trials of family interventions in their review, selected after systematic search of the research literature by predetermined methodological criteria. The interventions all offered family psy-choeducation and support, and most included some form of skills based training for relatives, although the theoretical orientation of these programmes varied considerably. The …

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