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September 1988

Parental 'Expressed Emotion' as a Predictor of Schizophrenic Relapse

Author Affiliations

From the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1988;45(9):806-813. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1988.01800330030003

• Fifty-seven schizophrenic patients were initially assessed after admission to hospital, at which time their parents completed a Camberwell Family Interview, generating "expressed emotion" (EE) scores. Relapse over the next nine months was not predicted by household EE status or by individual EE scales. Multivariate analyses suggested that a poor course after hospitalization was best predicted by a poor course before admission and by living in a one-parent household. High household EE status was a predictor only in one multivariate analysis after course of illness and one-parent household status had been entered, suggesting an interaction effect. We query the causal proposition linking high EE and relapse and suggest instead that a poor illness course may elicit high EE in relatives, particularly in one-parent households, and, thus, may make the principal contribution to the proposed link.