Family psychoeducation: An adjunctive intervention for mood disorder patients

Fataneh Ghadirian, Mahmoud Nasiri, Kobra Karami


BACKGROUND: In recent years, several controlled studies have showed that family psychoeducational interventions have been effective for improving family function and recovery course in mood disorders. Therefore, we established a family psychoeducational group intervention with 6 sessions to provide information about the illness, early warning signs, cognitive and behavioral strategies for stress management , problem solving and communication skills. We offered group intervention for the patients' relatives. The objective of this study was to evaluate the psychoeducational intervention outcome in mood disorder patients and their relatives in Iran.

METHODS: Seventeen relatives of mood disorder patients attended at 8 sessions (each 90 min) of family psychoeducational group therapy. Relatives' knowledge about mood disorder and their adaptation level were assessed using Understanding Mood Disorder questionnaires (UMDQ) and Family Assessment Device (FAD) before and after the group intervention in two groups. No interventions were done for patients. We assessed demographic variables, symptom severity, drug compliance and global function in patients at the beginning of the study, on discharge and 3 months after the family intervention.

RESULTS: The relatives' knowledge about mood disorders was significantly improved. They also have benefited from the discussions and exchanging information about the useful coping strategies. Relatives also felt significantly better after being informed about the illness. Symptom severity, drug compliance and global function in patients showed no significant differences in follow ups.

CONCLUSION: These findings showed that family psychoeducational interventions in relative of Iranian mood disorder patients, improve their knowledge about the illness and the adaptation level in family is increased.

KEY WORDS: Mood disorder, family psychoeducation, intervention, relatives.

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