Family group interventions in an early psychosis program: A re-evaluation of practice after 10 years of service delivery

Kate Day, Rachael Starbuck, Melissa Petrakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The role of family in supporting service users in coping with illness and engaging in relapse prevention in early psychosis is important. Taking on this caring though is stressful and challenging, and it has been found that support and information for carers assists in their coping and reduces isolation. Aims: To evaluate the current utility of a psychoeducation group program in a public adult mental health service, for the families of people experiencing early psychosis. Methods: A purpose-designed pre- and post-intervention questionnaire was administered to quantitatively measure group participants' changes in perceptions of their understanding of mental illness and its treatment through attending the group. Additional qualitative items were used to determine other knowledge, benefits and any critical feedback. Results: The group program continues to result in highly significant improvements in family members' understanding of psychosis, recovery, medications, relapse prevention and substance co-morbidities. Additional feedback reaffirmed previous findings that family members find group peer support valuable and that this reduces isolation and the experience of stigma. Conclusion: The current evaluation, conducted following 10 years of early psychosis group work, found there to be efficacy in family peer support groups and that it is important to provide family interventions in public early psychosis mental health services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-438
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Social Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Early psychosis
  • family interventions
  • multiple family groups
  • psychoeducation

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