Effectiveness of a psycho-educational intervention for reducing burden in Latin American families of patients with schizophrenia.

Quality of life research : an international journal of quality of life aspects of treatment, care and rehabilitation

PubMedID: 17286192

Gutiérrez-Maldonado J, Caqueo-Urízar A. Effectiveness of a psycho-educational intervention for reducing burden in Latin American families of patients with schizophrenia. Qual Life Res. 2007;16(5):739-47.
OBJECTIVES
To explore the effectiveness of a psycho-educational family intervention program for reducing burden in caregivers of patients with schizophrenia in a developing country.

METHOD
Forty-five caregivers participated, 22 in a psycho-educational family intervention group and 23 in a control group. The family program was held once a week for 5 months. In the control group the caregivers received standard intervention, comprising periodical meetings with the staff to monitor the effects of the medication. Burden was measured before and after the intervention: relatives in the psycho-educational group were evaluated at inclusion and at the end of the program; controls were evaluated at inclusion and 5 months later.

RESULTS
Burden decreased significantly in the psycho-educational group; mean scores on the Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale fell from 85.06 pre-intervention to 52.44 post-intervention, while scores fell only slightly in the control group, from 87.65 to 87.22. Treatment was especially effective in mothers and caregivers with lower educational levels.

CONCLUSION
This intervention program for reducing caregiver burden in developing Latin American countries was effective. Future investigations should focus on obtaining more precise estimates of the contributions of specific components of these programs to reducing burden.