Deliverability of Psychoeducational Family Management

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As part of an open clinical trial currently underway at the Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry in Munich, the feasibility of behavioral family management (Falloon et al. 1984) for schizophrenia in combination with two different neuroleptic medication strategies was investigated. The treatment approaches were psychoeducational family management with a standard dose or with targeted medication. In this article the following questions were addressed: (1) What proportion of the total schizophrenia population admitted as inpatients might be eligible for psychoeducational family treatment (assessment based on n = 411 over a 33-month period)? (2) How representative of this population are the patients who were randomized to the experimental groups? (3) How many patients dropped out of treatment after entering the trial? The results show that about 60 percent (247) of the patients were eligible for a psychoeducational treatment approach. Of these, 34 percent (85) participated in the trial and were randomized to the treatments. Only 4 percent of the relatives but 20 percent of the patients refused to take part in the study. The 85 trial patients did not differ from the total eligible on the numerous socioeconomic and symptom variables assessed. The treatment dropout rate was 11 percent. Those patients who accepted treatment did not differ from those patients who dropped out on socioeconomic or illness variables. The results indicate that early identification of dropouts is not possible at least with the methods used in this study.

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