Psychoeducation in schizophrenia: new developments and approaches in the field

Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2008 Mar;21(2):168-72. doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e3282f4e574.


Purpose of review: The aim of this review is to summarize the literature on psychoeducation in schizophrenia published during the past year; this literature shows that pragmatic approaches and new adaptations have been developed.

Recent findings: The current literature indicates that studies on psychoeducation in schizophrenia in real-world settings show results comparable to those in experimental settings; brief psychoeducational interventions may have long-term effects on relapse and rehospitalization rates; and combining diagnoses may be helpful for new, short psychoeducational formats, but also for smaller hospitals with too few patients with the same diagnosis for group psychoeducation. Peer-to-peer education programs for families and patients have been developed, and culturally sensitive topics, the patients' perspective, quality-of-life issues and sex aspects were integrated into psychoeducation. A new meta-analysis on psychoeducation shows that there is a medium effect size for relapse and rehospitalization reduction if both the patient and the family participate.

Summary: Up to the present, patient-directed approaches are much more frequent in clinical practice than bifocal psychoeducation. Therefore, future research must focus on patient-directed psychoeducation and, here especially, on integrating the more stable outpatients, who appear to profit more from psychoeducation than do symptomatic inpatients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Culture
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenia / economics
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Sex Factors