Self-reported coping strategies in families of patients in early stages of psychotic disorder: An exploratory study

Ruth Gerson, Celine Wong, Larry Davidson, Dolores Malaspina, Thomas McGlashan, Cheryl Corcoran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Aim: Coping by families of patients with schizophrenia include 'approach' strategies considered to be adaptive (e.g. reinterpretation) and potentially maladaptive 'avoidant' strategies (denial/disengagement, use of alcohol and drugs). Little is known about coping strategies used by families of individuals with incipient or emergent psychosis. Methods: Self-reported coping styles were assessed in family members of 11 ultra high risk and 12 recent-onset psychosis patients, using a modified version of Carver's Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced questionnaire. Results: Families reported moderate use of 'approach' coping (e.g. planning, seeking social support, positive reinterpretation, acceptance and turning to religion) and rare use of 'avoidant' coping strategies (denial/disengagement and use of alcohol and drugs). Conclusions: The greater endorsement of 'approach' coping by these families is consistent with findings for families of first episode psychosis patients, and it is in contrast to more prevalent 'avoidant' coping by families of patients with more chronic psychotic illness. Early intervention could plausibly help families maintain the use of potentially more adaptive 'approach' coping strategies over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)76-80
Number of pages5
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Coping
  • Family
  • Prodrome
  • Psychosis
  • Risk

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