Family Relapse Case Study

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With the advent of deinstitutionalization and the simultaneous growth of community mental health care services, family members often become the primary caregivers for individuals with psychosis. Negative emotional climate among family is suspected as a contributing factor for increased risk of symptomatic relapse in patients with psychosis. Researchers studying psychosis sought to determine the extent to which family dysfunction contributes to relapse. Additionally, the team wanted to determine whether this effect was different for people with chronic psychotic episodes (CPE) compared to those who have just experienced their first psychotic episode (FPE). A group of 104 psychosis patients and their caregivers were recruited for the study. …show more content…
Family emotional environment can also influence relapse when it is hostile or overprotective. Family dysfunction, assessed in terms of family cohesion, was tested for its effect on the incidence of psychotic relapse. Family caregivers were given a questionnaire which asked them to express their degree of agreement with various statements to determine the degree to which their family environment possessed these characteristics. The questionnaire used a Likert scale to evaluate family cohesion, along with the level of hostile and/or over-protective emotional expression, the burden the patient posed to the caregivers, and caregivers’ overall psychological stress. Patients and caregivers were evaluated two years later for relapse outcomes. Having a relapse was defined in terms of having at least one psychiatric hospitalization of any kind in the two-year period. Of the 34 relapsed patients, 8 were in the FPE group and 26 were in the CPE group. Furthermore, mean times to relapse were 21.54 months for the FPE group and 15.83 months for the CPE group, a difference found to be significant at p = 0.01 by a t-test of the group means. Family environments were numerically scored on the assessments of emotional hostility, emotional overprotection, caregiver burden, caregiver stress, and family cohesion, in order to correlate relapse times with scores on these

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