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Expressed emotion in staff-patient relationships: the professionals' and residents' perspectives

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Background: Expressed emotion (EE) is a well-established, important predictor of the relapse rate of patients suffering from schizophrenia and other severe psychiatric disorders. EE measures the quality of the social interaction between a patient and his most important (in)formal caregiver. The aim of this study was to investigate the quality of the relationship in the staff-patient dyad as measured by the concept of EE. Methods: EE was assessed using the Camberwell Family Interview (CFI, professionals) and the Perceived Criticism Scale (PCS, residents and professionals form) in a sample of 56 professional caregivers and their residents in nine sheltered living facilities in Flanders. Results: Depending on the instrument, high EE was found to exist in one out of six (CFI) or one out of three (PCS) relationships. There was a significant positive correlation between the resident PCS and the critical comment scale of the CFI. Conclusions: The results of this study support the hypothesis that high levels of EE exist in some staff-resident relationships, which are mainly manifest as frequent critical comments and the presence of hostility. Emotional overinvolvement appears to be exceptional. Compared with the PCS, the CFI provides the most information about the quality of the relationship.

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Accepted: 29 June 2001

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Van Humbeeck, G., Van Audenhove, C., Pieters, G. et al. Expressed emotion in staff-patient relationships: the professionals' and residents' perspectives. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 36, 486–492 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001270170013

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  • Schizophrenia
  • Social Interaction
  • Psychiatric Disorder
  • Significant Positive Correlation
  • Relapse Rate