The effect of a schizophrenic family workshop on levels of acceptance and stress in primary family caregivers of schizophrenic relatives




Barber, Marilyn

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Schizophrenia is one of the major health problems in the world. Patients with this illness often have some degree of impairment and may require help from others. The primary responsibility for the care of these schizophrenic patients frequently falls upon unprepared family. The purpose of this experimental, two-group, pre and post study was to examine whether a workshop about schizophrenia would effect the levels of stress and acceptance of a sample of 70 primary family caregivers. The primary caregivers were randomly selected and randomly assigned to either the experimental or control group. The experimental group (n = 36) participated in the workshop while the control group (n = 34) did not. Both groups had schizophrenic relatives who attended a large, university-affiliated psychiatric outpatient clinic in the southwestern United States.

Data for this investigation was collected using the Family Caregiver Record of demographics and two tests which were administered prior to and following the workshop: Kreisman's Patient Rejection Scale and the Schizophrenic Family Caregiver Stress Scale. The data were analyzed using analysis of variance with repeated measures and Pearson product moment correlations. The findings revealed that primary caregivers who attended the workshop had higher acceptance levels (F = 32.48, df = 1, p =.001) and decreased stress levels (F = 53.54, df = 1, p =.001) following participation in the workshop. There was an inverse relationship between the number of patient hospitalizations and the primary caregivers' level of acceptance (r = −.24, r\sp2 =.06, p =.045). There were no other significant relationships found between selected variables and the dependent variables, level of acceptance and level of stress. Caregivers who were "very religious" has lower stress levels. In general, the workshop did prepare the family to cope better with their primary caregiving role and helped the caregivers be more accepting of their schizophrenic relatives.



Mental illness, Schizophrenia, Family workshops, Family acceptance, Patient relapse prevention, Family stress