Objective: To measure the impact of a six-week Carer Psychoeducation Program (CPP) on factors that influence attitudes towards treatment among carers and relatives of people suffering from schizophrenia. We also examined which specific attitudes to treatment the CPP had the most effect on.
Method: Between 2002 and 2004, all patients and their relatives continued standard care. During this period, we conducted a historically-controlled open trial, in which 64 relatives completed a 17-item adapted version of the Drug Attitudes Inventory (DAI) before and after the CPP.
Results: Attitudes to treatment improved significantly overall (p < 0.001), an improvement most marked in terms of attitudes to health and illness, attitudes towards the physician and attitudes towards the potentially harmful effects of treatment. No statistically significant improvement was found, however, in attitudes to locus of control or the preventative role of treatment.
Conclusion: A CPP specifically improves family attitudes towards treatment. This finding is clinically important because such attitudes influence adherence which, in turn, influences outcome. The fact that certain attitudes are influenced by the CPP, while others are not, may help to explain the mechanism through which patient outcomes improve.