A two-year follow-up study was conducted, mainly from case notes, of patients who had originally taken part in a study of the influence of relatives' expressed emotion on schizophrenic relapse. It was found that in the two years following discharge from hospital patients from high expressed emotion homes had a significantly greater relapse rate than those from low expressed emotion homes.
The prophylactic effect of maintenance drugs was no longer evident for patients from high expressed emotion homes at the two-year follow-up. By contrast, a significant protective effect of maintenance therapy emerged for patients from low expressed emotion homes.
The interpretation of these findings is discussed.