Family outcomes

Deborah A. Perlick, Richard Kaczynski, Robert A. Rosenheck

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Despite advances in pharmacotherapy and psychosocial treatments, schizophrenia remains a disabling, lifelong illness which greatly alters the life experience not only of those afflicted, but also the experience of the family members who live with them, support them, and must negotiate through illness exacerbations as well as periods of remission and relative stability. Research has documented that up to 83% of the friends and family members of people diagnosed with schizophrenia experience financial, emotional, and practical burdens. They report time lost from work, unreimbursed medical and other patient-related expenses, limited time for leisure and socializing, elevated symptoms of psychological distress, and disturbed sleep. For example, between 30–40% of caregivers of people with schizophrenia score above the standard cut-off for depression (i.e., > 16) on a common survey instrument, the Center for Epidemiological Study of Depression (CES-D). Another problem affecting caregivers is stress related to the stigma of mental illness. Studies have demonstrated that from 40% to 79% of caregivers feel that “most people” devalue caregivers of people with schizophrenia. Specifically, 79% felt that family members were viewed as incompetent and 62% felt that they were blamed for their relative's illness. In response to such perceptions, family members practice social withdrawal and/or secrecy about the relatives' illness in order to avoid embarrassment and anticipated rejection. However, such avoidance limits their access to social support which might serve as a buffer to depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAntipsychotic Trials in Schizophrenia
Subtitle of host publicationThe CATIE Project
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9780511712265
ISBN (Print)9780521895330
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2010


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