Schizophrenia: Impact on Family Dynamics

  • Alejandra Caqueo-Urízar
  • Mar Rus-Calafell
  • Thomas K. J. Craig
  • Matias Irarrazaval
  • Alfonso Urzúa
  • Laurent Boyer
  • David R. Williams
Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders (SJ Siegel, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders


In many societies, family members are now the primary caregivers of mental health patients, taking on responsibilities traditionally under the purview of hospitals and medical professionals. The impact of this shift on the family is high, having both an emotional and economic toll. The aim of this paper is to review the main changes that occur in family dynamics for patients with schizophrenia. The article addresses three central themes: (i) changes in the family at the onset of the disorder, (ii) consequences for family members because of their caregiver role, and (iii) family interventions aimed at improving the complex dynamics within the family. After analyzing and discussing these themes, it is observed that despite advances in the field, the viability of taking care of a patient with schizophrenia by the family remains a challenge. Improving care will require commitments from the family, the mental health service system, and local and national governments for greater investments to improve the quality of life of society in general and individuals with schizophrenia in particular.


Schizophrenia Family Impact Dynamic Care 



This research was funded by the Universidad de Tarapacá through Proyecto Mayor de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica UTA n°3732-16 and the Convenio de Desempeño UTA-MINEDUC.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandra Caqueo-Urízar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mar Rus-Calafell
    • 3
  • Thomas K. J. Craig
    • 3
  • Matias Irarrazaval
    • 4
    • 5
  • Alfonso Urzúa
    • 6
  • Laurent Boyer
    • 7
  • David R. Williams
    • 2
    • 8
  1. 1.Escuela de Psicología y FilosofíaUniversidad de TarapacáAricaChile
  2. 2.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesHarvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Service and Population Research, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and NeuroscienceKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  4. 4.Departamento de Psiquiatría, Facultad de MedicinaHospital Clínico Universidad de ChileSantiagoChile
  5. 5.Instituto Milenio para la Investigación en Depresión y PersonalidadSantiagoChile
  6. 6.Universidad Católica del NorteAntofagastaChile
  7. 7.Aix-Marseille University, EA 3279 – Public Health, Chronic Diseases and Quality of Life – Research UnitMarseilleFrance
  8. 8.Department of African and African American StudiesHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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