A Controlled Trial of Couple Therapy versus Antidepressant Medication for Depressed Patients with a Critical Partner

  • Julian Leff


Michael J. Goldstein initiated the first study which showed that family work for schizophrenia could be effective. The publication documenting this research appeared in 1978 (Goldstein et al., 1978) two years after our own replication of the association between relatives’ Expressed Emotion (EE) and the outcome of schizophrenia (Vaughn and Leff, 1976a). Following this successful replication we began to plan a controlled trial of intervention with the families of schizophrenic patients, unaware of Goldstein’s ongoing study of the same kind. His publication encouraged us because up till then there had been no convincing evidence of the efficacy of this kind of approach. Since then at least eight randomised controlled trials have been published all demonstrating that family work in conjunction with maintenance antipsychotic medication is better at preventing relapse of schizophrenia than medication alone. The accumulating evidence has been endorsed by the Cochrane Collaboration as substantiating the value of family work for schizophrenia (Anderson and Adams, 1996).


Depressive Symptom Depressed Patient Cognitive Therapy Hamilton Depression Rate Scale Express Emotion 
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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2002

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  • Julian Leff

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