From an original sample of 177 patients in community care and suffering from functional psychosis, the psychiatric teams involved in the treatment of these patients interviewed 136 patients and 103 relatives. The interviews aimed at determining the patient's problems in socialrole behaviour, as evaluated both by the patients themselves and by their relatives, and to measure the stress caused to the relatives.
According to the patients themselves, over 60% had considerable difficulties in at least one area of social-role behaviour; the same conclusion was reached by over 50% of the relatives. The patients had a more positive view of their abilities to cope with housework, self-care, and managing money than their relatives. One-third of the relatives said they were dissatisfied with the situation, and more than 40% displayed a resigned attitude to the amount of support required by the patient.
Problems in social-role behaviour were commonest in patients who were dissatisfied with their treatment, in male patients, and in patients who lived together with their spouse, and among the relatives dissatisfaction with the situation as a whole was also highest in these cases. On the basis of these findings it is stressed that the treatment of psychotic patients should be based on a broad approach involving not only the patients themselves but also their relatives.