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Review: family interventions reduce relapse or hospitalisation in people with schizophrenia

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Question: Do community-based psychosocial family interventions show greater benefit for individuals with schizophrenia compared with standard care?

Outcomes: Primary outcomes were suicide and all-cause mortality, hospital admission and relapse. Relapse was defined according to each individual study's definition. In addition, participants lost to follow-up, and those who committed suicide were considered to have relapsed in meta analyses.


Design: Systematic review and meta analysis.

Data sources: In the most recent update of this review, the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Trials Register was searched in September 2008. Additional studies were identified by hand searching of reference lists and personal contact with authors.

Study selection and analysis: The review included randomised or quasi-randomised studies comparing community-based psychosocial interventions with standard care for families of people with diagnosed schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Eligible interventions comprised more than five sessions and aimed to reduce the extent of selected expressed emotions (criticism, hostility or over involvement) in the families of those with schizophrenia. …

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  • Sources of funding McMaster University, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo, Hitchingbrook Health Centre, International Clinical Epidemiology Research Network.


  • Competing interests None.

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