Multiple Family Discussion Groups for Patients with Chronic Medical Illness

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Abstract

Initially designed as open-ended groups for hospitalized psychotic patients and their families, multiple family discussion groups (MFDGs) are being increasingly experimented with in medical settings, especially those focused on treatment of chronic diseases. Our own work with MFDGs has evolved in four stages, each tied to a different clinical research project. Detailed treatment manuals have been written, and outcome data suggest that families participating in the groups experience improved psychosocial functioning and satisfaction with family life. Speculations are offered about the aspects of our MFDG model that contribute to its potential power for families.

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