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The families of patients with first-episode psychosis often play a major role in care and often experience lack of support.
To determine the effect of integrated treatment v. standard treatment on subjective burden of illness, expressed emotion (EE), knowledge of illness and satisfaction with treatment in key relatives of patients with a first episode of schizophrenia-spectrum disorder.
Patients with ICD-10 schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (first episode) were randomly assigned to integrated treatment or to standard treatment. Integrated treatment consisted of assertive community treatment, psychoeducational multi-family groups and social skills training. Key relatives were assessed with the Social Behaviour Assessment Schedule (SBAS, burden of illness), the 5-min speech sample (EE), and a multiple choice questionnaire at entry and after 1 year.
Relatives in integrated treatment felt less burdened and were significantly more satisfied with treatment than relatives in standard treatment. There were no significant effects of intervention groups on knowledge of illness and EE.
The integrated treatment reduced family burden of illness and improved satisfaction with treatment.
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