Helping Families of Schizophrenic Patients: An Eclectic Approach
By the end of 1977 the concept of Expressed Emotion (EE) had been well established in London as a reliable predictor of subsequent relapse when schizophrenic patients return home to live with their families (Brown, Birley and Wing, 1972; Vaughn and Leff, 1976a). It was clear at this stage that the next step was to mount an intervention study in order to find out if one could reduce schizophrenic relapse rates. Because we knew specifically that staying on medication was protective while high social contact was a risk factor, we concentrated on a small group of schizophrenic patients; those returning to high EE homes (high ER is now defined as a relative making more than six critical remarks or a rating of more than 3 on overinvolvement during the shortened Camberwell Family Interview (Vaughn and Leff, 1976b)), and also spending more than 35 hours per week with high EE relatives, who we knew were at high risk of subsequent relapse. Even on medication the relapse rate for this group of patients in the nine months after hospital discharge was 54% (Vaughn and Leff, 1976a).
KeywordsRelapse Rate Schizophrenic Patient Express Emotion Social Intervention Critical Remark
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