Family interventions in early psychosis service delivery: A systematized review

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The objective of this study was to explore the development of family intervention in an early psychosis context. The role played by family members and friends in the recovery of individuals with early psychosis is extremely important, and there is a growing body of literature that reflects this. However, how mental health services can best support and utilize family and friends as a core component in recovery from early psychosis is not yet established. The methodology entailed a systematic review of the international literature. Results from the current review highlight the principles of family engagement, its effectiveness to enhance service user outcomes, the need to differentiate early psychosis psycho-education from that provided in enduring illness, and challenges in implementation. The number of studies generally, and the number explicitly articulating and trialling family interventions being used in practice, are limited. This seems to highlight that—although practice guidelines acknowledge the importance of family support—there are challenges in implementation of evidence-based practice principles in this area. Changes in policy and service delivery are recommended for programs and services to better achieve family-sensitive and family-inclusive practice as core business in mental health service delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)632-650
Number of pages19
JournalSocial Work in Mental Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Family interventions
  • mental health services
  • mental illness
  • psychosis
  • psychosocial intervention
  • systematic literature review
  • systematized review

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