Aims – This study aims to explore: a) the feasibility of psycho-educational interventions for families of users with schizophrenia in clinical practice by trained staff; b) the benefits and problems encountered by professionals in the use of these interventions. Methods – 46 professionals from 23 Italian Mental Health Sen'ices (MHS) attended at a three-module training course in psycho-educational interventions and four supervisions in the subsequent year. Following the course, participants provided the intervention to families of users with schizophrenia. The difficulties and benefits encountered by trainees to use the intervention were registered on the Family Intervention Schedule.Results – 83% of the participants completed the training course. Following the course, the intervention started in 71 families from 17 MHS. 76% of trainees provided the intervention to 2-5 families, while 13% of them only held informative sessions on schizophrenia. During the supervision period, the organisational difficulties experienced by the professionals were stable, while the benefits increased. Differences in benefits and difficulties were detected in relation to the trainees’ experience and professional roles. Conclusions – It is possible to introduce psycho-educational interventions in MHS after a relatively brief period of training and supervision of the staff. Organisational difficulties need to be addressed to increase the dissemination of these interventions on a large scale.
Declaration of Interest: None of the authors has had any interest or he/she has received any form of support, including that from drug companies and honoraria for lectures and consultancies, potentially in conflict with this scientific work. None of the authors has received any form of fee for his/her participation in this study. This study was supported by grants received from the “M. Lugli” Foundation (grant n. 2/18/8) and from the National Institute of Health, Italy (grant no. 1AL/F3).