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Span J Psychol. 2010 May;13(1):389-95.

Effects of family psychoeducation on expressed emotion and burden of care in first-episode psychosis: a prospective observational study.

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Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla, Unidad de Investigación en Psiquiatría de Cantabria, Avda. Valdecilla s/n. Edificio 2 de Noviembre, Planta 2a, 39008 Santander, Cantabria, Spain.


The present study aimed to examine the levels and interactions of family burden (FB) and expressed emotion (EE) in first episode psychosis (FEP) patients and, secondly, to observe the potential change after a brief psychoeducational group intervention implemented in a real world clinical setting. Twenty-three key relatives of FEP patients received a brief psychoeducational group intervention. FB and EE were assessed before and after the intervention. EE-change and correlations between variables were examined. Half of the sample of key-relatives showed high levels of EE. No severe family burden was observed. FB and EE did not change after the intervention. Family subjective and objective burden were correlated with emotional overinvolvement, but not with criticism. Brief psychoeducational groups may not be sufficient to reduce FB and EE associated to the experience of caregiving for a family member with a first-episode psychotic disorder.

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