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Indian J Psychiatry. 2019 Jan;61(Suppl 1):S93-S103. doi: 10.4103/psychiatry.IndianJPsychiatry_530_18.

Family accommodation in psychopathology: A synthesized review.

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Yale University Child Study Center, New Haven, CT, USA.
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder Clinic, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.


Family accommodation describes changes that family members make to their own behavior, to help their relative who is dealing with psychopathology, and to avoid or alleviate distress related to the disorder. Research on family accommodation has expanded greatly in the past few years. The aim of this study was to provide a synthesized review of recent findings on family accommodation in psychopathology. Electronic databases were searched for available, peer-reviewed, English language papers, published between September 2015 and March 2018, cross-referencing psychiatric disorders with accommodation and other family-related terms. Ninety-one papers were identified and reviewed, of which 69 were included. In obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety disorders family accommodation has been linked to symptom severity, functional impairment, caregiver burden, and poorer treatment outcomes. Several randomized controlled trials explored the efficacy of treatments aimed at reducing family accommodation. A growing number of studies have reported family accommodation in eating disorders where it is associated with greater symptom severity and caregiver burden. Family accommodation has also been studied in other disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, tic disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder. Research on family accommodation in psychopathology is advancing steadily, expanding across disorders. The study highlights the importance of addressing family accommodation in the assessment and treatment of various disorders.


Accommodation; anxiety disorders; burden; family; obsessive-compulsive disorder; psychopathology

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