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Psychiatry Res. 1986 Mar;17(3):203-12.

A brief method for assessing expressed emotion in relatives of psychiatric patients.


A measure of the attitudes and feelings that a relative expresses about a mentally ill family member, termed expressed emotion (EE), is derived from an extensive, semistructured interview, the Camberwell Family Interview (CFI). The present article describes a method for the assessment of EE attitudes that uses a variation of the 5-minute speech sample, originally developed by Gottschalk and Gleser (1969). The measure is derived from responses made by a patient's key relative when prompted to give thoughts and feelings about the patient for a 5-minute period. A coding system was developed to score behaviors analogous to those rated on the CFI, such as criticism and emotional overinvolvement. The relationship between blind EE ratings derived from the 5-minute speech samples and those from the CFI was investigated with two separate samples of relatives of schizophrenics. The relationship between the sets of ratings was very close and supports the value of the 5-minute speech sample as a brief EE screening procedure.

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