Family involvement in the treatment of patients with psychosis

North ThamesMental Health
Published Date: 1 Oct 2014

Family involvement in the treatment of patients with psychosis

Research shows us that involving family members or friends (“carers”) in mental health care can help patients’ recovery in a number of ways. It may result in fewer hospital admissions, shorter hospital stays and better patient-reported quality of life. However, in everyday clinical practice, the involvement of carers is often not implemented. Our researchers carried out a systematic review of studies on the barriers and facilitating factors of carers’ involvement in the treatment of people with psychosis. After screening 15000 studies for relevant information, 43 papers from 16 countries were included in the final review.

Key identified barriers to carers’ involvement.

  • Organisational cultures and paradigms.
  • Reservations about family involvement regarding power relations, fear of negative outcomes and the need for an exclusive patient–professional relationship.

Key recommendations for implementing carers’ involvement

  • Facilitating the training and ongoing supervision of staff.
  • Ensuring a whole team coordinated effort at every level of the organisation, supported by strong leadership.
  • Addressing reservations about carers’ involvement through mutually trusting relationships.