Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-768ffcd9cc-mqrwx Total loading time: 0.964 Render date: 2022-12-03T00:25:29.216Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

6 - Educational interventions

from Part II - Summary of treatment modalities in psychiatric disorders

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 May 2010

Christopher Dowrick
Department of Primary Care University of Liverpool Liverpool UK
Nancee Blum
University of Iowa 2880 JPP Iowa City Iowa USA
Bruce Pfohl
University of Iowa Iowa City IA USA
Peter Tyrer
Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London
Kenneth R. Silk
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Get access


Editor's note

The place for psycho-education in the treatment of psychiatric disorders appears to be growing. While lip service has often been paid to educational interventions for psychiatric patients, it is really only in the last decade that evidence has been systematically gathered as to its role(s) and effectiveness. Overall educational interventions appear to improve primary care medical workers' (general practitioners, nurse practitioners and the like) detection of, as well as attitudes towards, mental illness, though there is little evidence, with respect especially to ‘milder’ mood disorders, that these interventions change the ultimate outcome of the disorder. Further, they do not, at this time, appear to impact patients' and their families' dislike of pharmacological treatment. Educational interventions in severe and persistent mental illness, especially if patients themselves are involved in the education either as teachers or participants, will reduce stigma towards the illness, but again the reduction in stigma does not translate into better or improved health outcomes. But in severe mental illness, psycho-education, particularly involving problem-solving and motivational interviewing, delivered to patients, other care workers and families appears to reduce rates of relapse and readmission to hospital.


Educational interventions for mental illness may be provided for patients and carers, the general public or health professionals. They may seek to affect knowledge, skills or attitudes.

With regard to common affective disorders:

  • There is evidence of effectiveness, particularly in reducing symptoms and severity of depression, for psycho-education delivered to patients through a variety of means.

  • Public education can change some attitudes towards the illness itself though antipathy to drug treatment appears difficult to alter.

  • […]

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2008

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Apodaca, T. & Miller, W. (2003). A meta-analysis of the effectiveness of bibliotherapy for alcohol problems. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 59, 289–304.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Appleby, L., Morriss, R., Gask, al. (2000). An educational intervention for front-line health professionals in the assessment and management of suicidal patients (the STORM Project). Psychological Medicine, 30, 805–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Baer, L. & Greist, J. H. (1997). An interactive computer-administered self-assessment and self-help program for behavior therapy. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 58 Suppl. 12, 23–8.Google ScholarPubMed
Black, D. W., Blum, N., Pfohl, B. & St. John, D. (2004). The STEPPS group treatment program for outpatients with borderline personality disorder. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, 34, 193–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blum, N., Pfohl, B., John, D.St., Monahan, P. & Black, D. W. (2002). STEPPS: a cognitive-behavioral systems-based group treatment for outpatients with borderline personality disorder – a preliminary report. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 43, 301–10.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Bower, P., Richards, D. & Lovell, K. (2001). The clinical and cost-effectiveness of self-help treatments for anxiety and depressive disorders in primary care: a systematic review. British Journal of General Practice, 51, 838–45.Google ScholarPubMed
Burland, J. (1998). Family-to-family: a trauma and recovery model of family education. New Directions for Mental Health Services, 77, 33–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Burns, T., Millar, E., Garland, C., Kendrick, T., Chisolm, B. & Ross, F. (1998). Randomized controlled trial of teaching practice nurses to carry out structured assessments of patients receiving depot antipsychotic medication. British Journal of General Practice, 48, 1845–8.Google Scholar
Chien, W-T., Chan, S. W. C. & Thompson, D. R. (2006). Effects of a mutual support group for families of Chinese people with schizophrenia: 18-month follow-up. British Journal of Psychiatry, 189, 41–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Christensen, H., Griffiths, K. M. & Jorm, A. F. (2004). Delivering interventions for depression by using the internet: randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 328, 265–8.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Colom, F., Vieta, E., Martinez-Aran, al. (2003). A randomized trial on the efficacy of group psychoeducation in the prophylaxis of recurrences in bipolar patients whose disease is in remission. Archives of General Psychiatry, 60, 402–7.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Coodin, S. & Chisholm, F. (2001). Teaching in a new key: effects of a co-taught seminar on medical students' attitudes towards schizophrenia. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 24, 299–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Corrigan, P. W., River, L. P., Lundin, R. al. (2001). Three strategies for changing attributions about severe mental illness. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 27, 187–95.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dixon, L., Lucksted, A., Stewart, al. (2004). Outcomes of the peer-taught 12-week family-to-family education program for severe mental illness. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 109, 207–15.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dixon, L., Stewart, B., Burland, J., Delahanty, J., Lucksted, A. & Hoffman, M. (2001). Pilot study of the effectiveness of the family-to-family education program. Psychiatric Services, 52, 965–7.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dowrick, C., Dunn, G., Ayuso-Mateos, al. (2000). Problem solving treatment and group psychoeducation for depression: multicentre randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 321, 1450–4.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Eisen, M., Zellman, G. L. & Murray, D. M. (2003). Evaluating the Lions-Quest “Skills for Adolescence” drug education program. Second-year behavior outcomes. Addictive Behaviors, 28, 883–97.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Falloon, J. R., Coverdale, J. H., Laidlaw, T. M., Merry, S., Kidd, R. R. & Morosini, P. (1998). Early intervention for schizophrenic disorders: implementing optimal strategies in routine clinical services. British Journal of Psychiatry, 172 Suppl. 33, 33–8.Google ScholarPubMed
Falvo, D. R. (1994). Effective Patient Education. A Guide to Increased Compliance. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publication Inc.Google Scholar
Fisher, B. & Gilbert, D. (2001). Patient involvement and clinical effectiveness. In New Beginnings: Towards Patient and Public Involvement in Primary Health Care, ed. Gillam, S. & Brooks, F., pp. 119–31. London: King's Fund.Google Scholar
Gask, L., Usherwood, T., Thompson, H. & Williams, B. (1998). Evaluation of a training package in the assessment and management of depression in primary care. Medical Education, 32, 190–8.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gask, L., Rogers, A., Oliver, D., May, C. & Roland, M. (2003). Qualitative study of patients' perceptions of the quality of care in general practice. British Journal of General Practice, 53, 278–83.Google ScholarPubMed
Gask, L., Dowrick, C., Dixon, al. (2004). A pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial of an educational intervention for general practitioners in the assessment and management of depression. Psychological Medicine, 34, 63–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gilbody, S., Whitty, P., Grimshaw, J. & Thomas, R. (2003). Educational and organizational interventions to improve the management of depression in primary care: a systematic review. Journal of the American Medical Association, 289, 3145–51.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Gonzalez-Pinto, A., Gonzalez, C., Enjuto, al. (2004). Psychoeducation and cognitive-behavioral therapy in bipolar disorder: an update. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 109, 83–90.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Greist, J. H., Marks, I. M., Baer, al. (1998). Self-treatment for obsessive-compulsive disorder using a manual and a computerized telephone interview: A US-UK study. MD Computing, 15, 149–57.Google Scholar
Hegerl, U., Althaus, D. & Stefanek, J. (2003). Public attitudes towards treatment of depression: effects of an information campaign. Pharmacopsychiatry, 36, 288–91.Google ScholarPubMed
Herz, M. I., Lamberti, J. S., Minz, al. (2000). A program for relapse prevention in schizophrenia: a controlled study. Archives of General Psychiatry, 57, 277–83.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hoffman, P., Buteau, E., Hooley, J. M., Fruzzetti, A. E. & Bruce, M. L. (2003a). Family members' knowledge about borderline personality disorder: correspondence with their levels of depression, burden, distress, and expressed emotion. Family Process, 42, 469–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hoffman, P. D., Fruzzetti, A. E., Buteau, E. et al. (2003b). Family connections: a dialectical support and educational approach for families of persons with borderline personality disorder. Paper presented at the meeting of the International Society for the Investigation and Teaching of Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Boston, MA, November 2003.
Huband, N., Duggan, C., Evans, al. (2007). Social problem-solving plus psychoeducation for adults with personality disorder. Pragmatic randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 190, 307–13.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hunkeler, E. M., Meresman, J. F., Hargreaves, W. al. (2000). Efficacy of nurse telehealth care and peer support in augmenting treatment of depression in primary care. Archives of Family Medicine, 9, 700–8.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Johannessen, J. O., McGlashan, T. H., Larsen, T. al. (2001). Early detection strategies for untreated first-episode psychosis. Schizophrenia Research, 51, 39–46.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Jorm, A. F., Griffiths, K. M., Christensen, H., Parslow, R. A. & Rogers, B. (2004). Actions taken to cope with depression at different levels of severity: a community survey. Psychological Medicine, 34, 293–9.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kaminer, Y., Burleson, J. A. & Goldberger, R. (2002). Cognitive-behavioral coping skills and psychoeducation therapies for adolescent substance abuse. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 190, 737–45.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
King, M., Davidson, O., Taylor, F., Haines, A., Sharp, D. & Turner, R. (2002). Effectiveness of teaching general practitioners skills in brief cognitive behaviour therapy to treat patients with depression: randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 324, 947–50.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Lewinsohn, P. (1989). The Coping with Depression Course: review and future directions. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 21, 470–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lewinsohn, P., Hoberman, H., Teri, L. & Hautzinger, M. (1985). An integrative theory of depression. In Theoretical Issues in Behaviour Therapy, ed. Reiss, S. & Bootzin, R., pp. 331–59. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
Katon, W., Korff, M., Lin, al. (1995) Collaborative management to achieve treatment guidelines. Impact on depression in primary care. Journal of the American Medical Association, 273, 1026–31.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Katon, W., Korff, M., Lin, E. & Simon, G. (2001). Rethinking practitioner roles in chronic illness: the specialist, primary care physician and the practice nurse. General Hospital Psychiatry, 23, 138–44.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kendrick, T., Burns, T. & Freeling, P. (1995). Randomised controlled trial of teaching general practitioners to carry our structured assessments of their long term mentally ill patients. British Medical Journal, 311, 93–8.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kendrick, T., Stevens, L., Bryant, al. (2001). Hampshire Depression Project: changes in the process of care and cost consequences. British Journal of General Practice, 51, 911–13.Google ScholarPubMed
Kopelowicz, A., Zarate, R., Gonzalez Smith, V., Mintz, J. & Liberman, R. P. (2003). Disease management in Latinos with schizophrenia: a family assisted, skills training approach. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 29, 211–27.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Marks, I. M., Mataix-Cols, D., Kenwright, M., Cameron, R., Hirsch, S. & Geda, L. (2003). Pragmatic evaluation of computer aided self-help for anxiety and depression. British Journal of Psychiatry, 183, 57–65.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Martinez-Aran, A., Vieta, E., Reinares, M. (2004). Cognitive function across manic or hypomanic, depressed, and euthymic states in bipolar disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 262–70.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
McCann, T. V. & Clark, E. (2004). Advancing self-determination with young adults who have schizophrenia. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 11, 12–20.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
McFarlane, W. R., Dixon, L., Lukens, E. & Lucksted, A. (2003). Family psychoeducation and schizophrenia: a review of the literature. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 29, 223–45.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Macpherson, R., Jerrom, B. & Hughes, A. (1996). A controlled study of education about drug treatment in schizophrenia. British Journal of Psychiatry, 168, 709–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Muñoz, R. & Ying, Y. (1993). The Prevention of Depression: Research and PracticeBaltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
Nazareth, I., King, M. & Tai, S. S. (1996). Monitoring psychosis in general practice: a controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 169, 475–82.Google ScholarPubMed
Paykel, E. S., Hart, D. & Priest, R. G. (1998). Changes in public attitudes to depression during the Defeat Depression Campaign. British Journal of Psychiatry, 173, 519–22.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Pekkala, E. & Merinder, L. (2004). Psychoeducation for schizophrenia (Cochrane Review). In The Cochrane Library, 1Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.Google Scholar
Penn, D. L., Kommana, S., Mansfield, M. & Link, B. G. (1999). Dispelling the stigma of schizophrenia: II. The impact of information on dangerousness. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 25, 437–46.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Perry, A., Tarrier, N., Morris, R., McCarthy, E. & Limb, K. (1999). Randomised controlled trial of the efficacy of teaching patients with bipolar disorder to identify early symptoms of relapse and obtain treatment. British Medical Journal, 318, 149–53.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Ran, M. S., Xiang, M. Z., Chan, C. al. (2003). Effectiveness of psychoeducational intervention for rural Chinese families experiencing schizophrenia – a randomised controlled trial. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 38, 69–75.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rankin, S. H. & Stallings, K. D. (1996). Patient Education: Issues, Principles, Practices. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott-Raven.Google Scholar
Rost, K., Nutting, P., Smith, J., Elliott, C. & Dickinson, M. (2002). Managing depression as a chronic disease: a randomised trial of ongoing treatment in primary care. British Medical Journal, 325, 934–7.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Rutz, W., Walinder, J., Eberhard, al. (1989). An education programme for depressive disorders on Gotland: background and evaluation. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 79, 19–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schoenbaum, M., Unutzer, J., Sherbourne, al. (2001). Cost-effectiveness of practice-initiated quality improvements for depression: results of a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 286, 1325–30.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Schulze, B., Richter-Werling, M., Matschinger, H. & Angermeyer, M. C. (2003). Crazy? So what! Effects of a school project on students' attitudes towards people with schizophrenia. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 107, 142–50.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Simon, C. E., Korff, M., Rutter, C. & Wagner, M. (2000). Randomised trial on monitoring, feedback, and management of care by telephone to improve treatment of depression in primary care. British Medical Journal, 320, 550–4.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Solomon, P. (1996). Moving from psychoeducation to family education for families of adults with serious mental illness. Psychiatric Services, 47, 1364–70.Google ScholarPubMed
Stuart, H. (2003). Stigma and the daily news: evaluation of a newspaper intervention. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 48, 651–6.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Thompson, C., Kinmonth, A. L., Stevens, L. (2000). Effects of a clinical-practice guideline and practice-based education on detection and outcome of depression in primary care: Hampshire Depression Project randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 355, 185–91.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Unutzer, J., Katon, W., Callahan, al. (2002). Collaborative care management of late-life depression in the primary care setting: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 288, 2836–45.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wagner, E. T., Austin, B. T. & Korff, M. (1996). Organizing care for patients with chronic illness. Milbank Quarterly, 74, 511–44.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wells, K., Sherbourne, C., Schoenbaum, al. (2000). Impact of disseminating quality improvement programs for depression in managed primary care: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American Medical Association, 283, 212–20.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Wykurz, G. & Kelly, D. (2002). Developing the role of patients as teachers: literature review. British Medical Journal, 325, 818–23.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Zygmunt, A., Olfson, M., Boyer, C. A. & Mechanic, D. (2002). Interventions to improve medication adherence in schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159, 1653–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Educational interventions
  • Edited by Peter Tyrer, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, Kenneth R. Silk, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Book: Cambridge Textbook of Effective Treatments in Psychiatry
  • Online publication: 12 May 2010
  • Chapter DOI:
Available formats

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Educational interventions
  • Edited by Peter Tyrer, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, Kenneth R. Silk, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Book: Cambridge Textbook of Effective Treatments in Psychiatry
  • Online publication: 12 May 2010
  • Chapter DOI:
Available formats

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Educational interventions
  • Edited by Peter Tyrer, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, Kenneth R. Silk, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • Book: Cambridge Textbook of Effective Treatments in Psychiatry
  • Online publication: 12 May 2010
  • Chapter DOI:
Available formats