Implementing Psychoeducational Interventions in Italy for Patients With Schizophrenia and Their Families

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ObjectiveThis study explored the feasibility of providing psychoeducational interventions for persons with schizophrenia and their families.MethodsThe study was carried out in 23 Italian mental health centers. Two professionals from each center attended three monthly training sessions on psychoeducational interventions. After the training, each professional provided informative sessions on schizophrenia to five families of service users with schizophrenia, which consisted of three meetings with each family on clinical aspects of schizophrenia, drug treatments, and detection of early signs of relapse. Each professional then provided the intervention to families for six months.ResultsThirty-eight of the 46 participants completed the training course, and 34 provided the intervention to 71 families. Twenty-nine of the 34 provided the entire intervention to the families and five of the 34 held only informative sessions on schizophrenia. Ninety-one percent of the participants who completed the study reported difficulties in integrating the intervention with their other work responsibilities, and 96 percent acknowledged the positive effect that the intervention had on the center's relationship with patients with schizophrenia and their families.ConclusionsThese results support the idea that it is possible to introduce psychoeducational interventions in mental health services after a relatively brief period of training and supervision.

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