Controlled Trial of Social Intervention in the Families of Schizophrenic Patients
A robust association has been established between the level of expressed emotion (EE) shown by relatives and the outcome of schizophrenia in patients living with them (Brown, Monck, Carstairs, and Wing, 1962; Brown, Birley, and Wing, 1972; Vaughn and Leff, 1976a; Leff and Vaughn, 1981). Relapse of schizophrenia is more likely if patients live with relatives who are excessively critical and/or overinvolved. Such relatives are designated as high EE. Two factors appeared to operate in a protective manner for patients living whith high EE relatives. These were regular maintenance therapy with neuroleptic drugs and the establishment of a social distance between patient and relative, as measured by the amount of face-to-face contact during a typical week. Furthermore, these two factors seemed to be additive in their protective effect. The evidence for these conclusions was derived from an analysis of pooled data from the two most recent studies (Brown et al., 1972; Vaughn and Leff, 1976a). The relevant figure setting out these results is reproduced here (Figure 1).
KeywordsRelapse Rate Schizophrenic Patient High Contact Express Emotion Social Intervention
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