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Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 1995 Mar;29(1):139-45.

Tertiary prevention in mental health care: effects of group meetings for family caregivers.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Adelaide, South Australia.


Several series of discussion groups were conducted for people caring for relatives who suffer from chronic schizophrenia. Groups aimed to provide information from both experts and fellow caregivers about the illness and about coping techniques, and to foster emotional support within the peer group. Owing to the small number of subjects, statistical power was inadequate to test effects quantitatively; however, the responses of the family caregivers to structured follow-up questions indicated many gains from group attendance. Attendance and participation rates were high once subjects were engaged; positive outcomes were reported by the carers, and they actively sought feedback of their dissatisfactions with mental health services to the relevant decision-makers. The results are relevant both in the area of preventive mental health care for carers, and in promoting collaboration between carers and professionals.

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