Impact of multiple-family groups for outpatients with schizophrenia on caregivers' distress and resources

Psychiatr Serv. 2004 Jan;55(1):35-41. doi: 10.1176/


Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of multiple-family group treatment on distress and psychosocial resources among family caregivers of persons with schizophrenia.

Methods: A total of 97 consumers with schizophrenia or another psychotic disorder and their caregivers were randomly assigned to receive multiple-family group treatment (N=53) or standard psychiatric outpatient care (N=44). Reliable and valid measures were used to assess caregivers' distress, caregivers' resources, and consumers' clinical status.

Results: After consumers' clinical status and baseline rates of caregivers' distress and caregivers' resources were controlled for, the caregivers of consumers who received multiple-family group treatment experienced greater reductions in distress but no increases in resources compared with caregivers of consumers who received standard psychiatric care.

Conclusions: Multiple-family group treatment reduced caregivers' distress but did not increase caregivers' resources relative to standard psychiatric care.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Family Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Outpatients
  • Schizophrenia / nursing*
  • Social Support*
  • Stress, Psychological
  • United States