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April 1991

Family Psychoeducation, Social Skills Training, and Maintenance Chemotherapy in the Aftercare Treatment of SchizophreniaII. Two-Year Effects of a Controlled Study on Relapse and Adjustment

Author Affiliations

From the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh (Pa) School of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1991;48(4):340-347. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1991.01810280056008

• We demonstrated earlier that a novel family psychoeducational approach and an individual social skills training approach designed for patients living in high—expressed emotion households each reduced schizophrenic relapse by one-half when compared with medication controls in the 1st year after hospital discharge. The combination of treatments resulted in no relapse. Results have now been obtained after 2 years of continuous treatment. By 24 months, a persistent and significant effect of family intervention on forestalling relapse was observed, but the effect of social skills training was lost late in the 2nd year. There was no additive effect on relapse that accrued to the combination of treatments. Beyond 2 years, however, the effect of family intervention was likely compromised as well. Treatment effects on the adjustment of survivors were circumscribed, due, in part, to study design characteristics. Effects generally favored the social skills-alone condition at 1 year and the family condition or combined family/social skills condition at 2 years.