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International best-practice guidelines for the management of first-episode psychosis have recommended the provision of psychoeducation for multifamily groups. While there is ample evidence of their efficacy in multiepisode psychosis, there is a paucity of evidence supporting this approach specifically for first-episode psychosis. We sought to determine whether a six-week caregiver psychoeducation programme geared specifically at first-episode psychosis improves caregiver knowledge and attitudes.
Caregivers of people with first-episode psychosis completed a 23-item adapted version of the self-report Family Questionnaire (KQ) and a 17-item adapted version of the self-report Drug Attitudes Inventory (DAI) before and after the six-week DETECT Information and Support Course (DISC). Using a Generalised Linear Repeated Measures Model, we analyzed the differences in proportions of correct answers before and after the programme.
Over a 24-month study period, 31 caregivers (13 higher socioeconomic; 13 lower socioeconomic; five unspecified socioeconomic; 19 female; 12 male) participated in the DISC programme and completed inventories before and after the course. Knowledge of psychosis and specific knowledge of medication treatment improved among caregivers overall (p < .01; effect sizes 0.78 and 0.94 respectively). There were no significant gender or socioeconomic differences in any improvement.
This study confirms that caregiver psychoeducation specifically for first-episode psychosis directly improves knowledge of the illness overall and, in particular, knowledge of medication. Gender is not a factor in this, while the lack of any socioeconomic differences dispels the myth that patients in lower socioeconomic groups are disadvantaged because their caregivers know less.
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