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J Consult Clin Psychol. 2001 Feb;69(1):3-12.

Family treatment and medication dosage reduction in schizophrenia: effects on patient social functioning, family attitudes, and burden.

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New Hampshire-Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center and Department of Psychiatry, Dartmouth Medical School, USA.


The effects of 2 family intervention programs (supportive family management [SFM], including monthly support groups for 2 years; or applied family management [AFM], including 1 year of behavioral family therapy plus support groups for 2 years), and 3 different neuroleptic dosage strategies (standard, low, targeted) on social functioning of patients with schizophrenia. their relatives' attitudes, and family burden were examined. AFM was associated with lower rejecting attitudes by relatives toward patients and less friction in the family perceived by patients. Patients in both AFM and SFM improved in social functioning but did not differ, whereas family burden was unchanged. Medication strategy had few effects, nor did it interact with family intervention. The addition of time-limited behavioral family therapy to monthly support groups improved family atmosphere, but did not influence patient social functioning or family burden.

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