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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998 Jun;55(6):547-52.

Expressed emotion and psychiatric relapse: a meta-analysis.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass 02138, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Expressed emotion (EE) is a measure of the family environment that has been demonstrated to be a reliable psychosocial predictor of relapse in schizophrenia. However, in recent years some prominent nonreplications of the EE-relapse relationship have been published. To more fully address the question of the predictive validity of EE, we conducted a meta-analysis of all available EE and outcome studies in schizophrenia. We also examined the predictive validity of the EE construct for mood disorders and eating disorders.

METHODS:

An extensive literature search revealed 27 studies of the EE-outcome relationship in schizophrenia. Using meta-analytic procedures, we combined the findings of these investigations to provide an estimate of the effect size associated with the EE-relapse relationship. We also used meta-analysis to provide estimates of the effect sizes associated with EE for mood and eating disorders.

RESULTS:

The results confirmed that EE is a significant and robust predictor of relapse in schizophrenia. Additional analyses demonstrated that the EE-relapse relationship was strongest for patients with more chronic schizophrenic illness. Interestingly, although the EE construct is most closely associated with research in schizophrenia, the mean effect sizes for EE for both mood disorders and eating disorders were significantly higher than the mean effect size for schizophrenia.

CONCLUSION:

These findings highlight the importance of EE in the understanding and prevention of relapse in a broad range of psychopathological conditions.

PMID:
9633674
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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