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Am J Psychiatry. 1992 Oct;149(10):1335-40.

Initial findings on preventive intervention for families with parental affective disorders.

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Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA.



The purpose of this study was to develop a clinician-based cognitive, psychoeducational, preventive intervention for families with parental affective disorder that would be suitable to widespread use, test its feasibility and safety, and define the areas affected by the intervention. The intervention was designed to increase understanding of parental illness and resilience in the children.


The authors studied the first seven families (14 parents) to receive the intervention. Enrollment criteria included affective disorder during the preceding year in at least one parent, presence of at least one child between the ages of 8 and 14 years who was not psychiatrically ill at the time of participation, and willingness to participate in the research study. The intervention consisted of parent, child, and family sessions. Assessment included semistructured interviews with parents about affective disorders, standard ratings of marital satisfaction and therapeutic alliance, and a recently developed semistructured interview to assess response to the intervention.


Overall satisfaction with the intervention was rated moderate to high by parents. No harm was reported. Ten of 14 parent subjects reported five or more behavior and attitude changes that they attributed to the intervention. The most frequent behavior and attitudinal changes reported were increased discussion of the illness and related issues and increased understanding of information about affective illness.


The authors conclude that the intervention is safe and feasible in families with parental affective disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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