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Family Interventions in Schizophrenia in Italian Mental Health Services

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Comprehensive Treatment of Schizophrenia


This chapter, after discussing some of the issues that slow down the implementation of psychosocial family strategies in schizophrenic disorders in Italian mental health services, also reports the preliminary results of the Italian research project “Involvement and Support of Relatives of Persons Affected by Mental Illness.” The design was a randomized controlled-trial comparison of two methods of family-based treatments in schizophrenia. Thirty-nine subjects with a diagnosis of schizophrenic disorder were randomly assigned to single-family (SF) and 35 were assigned to multi-family (MF) psycho educational intervention. Clinical variables, quality of life, social functioning, and satisfaction with the mental health services were assessed in the patients, and burden of care, quality of life, and satisfaction with the mental health services, were assessed in the relatives. All the evaluations were carried out at the beginning and after six months of treatment by trained independent raters. The 12-month follow-up data are not yet available. The preliminary data from only a third of the sample (25 subjects) show a good reduction in symptoms and a good improvement in social functioning at the six-month follow-up. For social functioning alone, a greater improvement was observed in women and in the multifamily intervention. This ongoing study demonstrates that psychosocial family interventions may be easily introduced in the routine activities of Italian mental health services. The six-month partial results seem to confirm the clinical and social benefits of both the individual and the group approach.

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© 2002 Springer-Verlag Tokyo

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Roncone, R., Morosini, P., Falloon, I.R.H., Casacchia, M. (2002). Family Interventions in Schizophrenia in Italian Mental Health Services. In: Kashima, H., Falloon, I.R.H., Mizuno, M., Asai, M. (eds) Comprehensive Treatment of Schizophrenia. Keio University International Symposia for Life Sciences and Medicine, vol 8. Springer, Tokyo.

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