Correlates of Family Contact with the Mental Health System: Allocation of a Scarce Resource
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This study explored correlates of informal and formal contact between clinicians and families of individuals with schizophrenia. We reanalyzed data from 902 individuals with schizophrenia from the Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT) client survey and a Veterans Affairs extension. Only 31% of families had any informal contact with a clinician and 7.8% attended a formal support program. Logistic regression showed that younger age, greater education, drug problems, receiving psychiatric inpatient and day treatment services, and participants’ satisfaction with their family were all positively and significantly associated with informal contact. Receipt of formal family services was associated with intensity of social contact between participants and families. These results suggest that formal services for families of individuals with schizophrenia are not commonly available, and that informal pathways are the most common, although still limited, mechanism through which families of those patients who are receiving intensive services communicate with clinicians.
Keywordsschizophrenia families communication PORT veterans affairs
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