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Original Research

Psychoeducation and Compliance in the Treatment of Schizophrenia: Results of the Munich Psychosis Information Project Study.

Gabriele Pitschel-Walz, PhD; Josef Bäuml, MD; Wolfram Bender, MD; Rolf R. Engel, PHD; Michael Wagner, PhD; and Werner Kissling, MD

Published: March 15, 2006

Article Abstract

Objective: The present study examined whether psychoeducational groups for patients with schizophrenic disorders and for their families can reduce rehospitalization rates and improve compliance.

Method: 236 inpatients who met DSM-III-R criteria for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and who had regular contact with at least 1 relative or other key person were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatment conditions. In the intervention condition, patients and their relatives were encouraged to attend psychoeducational groups over a period of 4 to 5 months. The patients’ and relatives’ psychoeducational programs were separate, and each consisted of 8 sessions. Patients in the other treatment condition received routine care. Outcomes were compared over 12-month and 24-month follow-up periods. The study was conducted from 1990 to 1994.

Results: It was possible to significantly reduce the rehospitalization rate after 12 and 24 months in patients who attended psychoeducational groups compared with those receiving routine care (p< .05). Patients who attended psychoeducational groups showed better compliance than patients under routine care without psychoeducation.‘ ‹

Conclusions: The results suggest that a relatively brief intervention of 8 psychoeducational sessions with systematic family involvement in simultaneous groups can considerably improve the treatment of schizophrenia. Psychoeducation should be routinely offered to all patients with schizophrenia and their families.

Volume: 67

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