Parental Expressed Emotion and Suicidal Ideation in Adolescents with Bipolar Disorder
ABSTRACT Family environmental variables are risk factors for recurrent courses of mood disorder in adolescents. The present study examined the association between parental expressed emotion (EE)—critical, hostile and/or emotionally overinvolved attitudes toward a concurrently ill offspring – and suicidal ideation in adolescents with bipolar disorder. The sample consisted of 95 adolescents with a bipolar I or II diagnosis who had experienced a mood episode in the prior 3 months. Participants (mean age=15.54 yrs., SD=1.4) were interviewed and completed questionnaires regarding current and past suicidal ideation prior to their participation in a treatment trial. Parents completed five-minute speech samples from which levels of EE were assessed. High EE attitudes in parents were associated with current suicidal ideation in adolescents. This relationship was independent of the effects of age, gender, current depressive or manic symptoms, comorbid diagnoses, bipolar I/II subtype, family adaptability, and family cohesion. These results underscore the importance of addressing the emotional reactivity of caregivers in treating adolescents with bipolar disorder who have suicidal ideation.
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ABSTRACT: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among adolescents. Many suicidal youths treated in emergency departments do not receive follow-up treatment as advocated by the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Two strategies for improving rates of follow-up treatment were compared. In a randomized controlled trial, suicidal youths at two emergency departments (N=181; ages ten to 18) were individually assigned between April 2003 and August 2005 to one of two conditions: an enhanced mental health intervention involving a family-based cognitive-behavioral therapy session designed to increase motivation for follow-up treatment and safety, supplemented by care linkage telephone contacts after emergency department discharge, or usual emergency department care enhanced by provider education. Assessments were conducted at baseline and approximately two months after discharge from the emergency department or hospital. The primary outcome measure was rates of outpatient mental health treatment after discharge. Intervention patients were significantly more likely than usual care patients to attend outpatient treatment (92% versus 76%; p=.004). The intervention group also had significantly higher rates of psychotherapy (76% versus 49%; p=.001), combined psychotherapy and medication (58% versus 37%; p=.003), and psychotherapy visits (mean 5.3 versus 3.1; p=.003). Neither the emergency department intervention nor community outpatient treatment (in exploratory analyses) was significantly associated with improved clinical or functioning outcomes. Results support efficacy of the enhanced emergency department intervention for improving linkage to outpatient mental health treatment but underscore the need for improved community outpatient treatment to prevent suicide, suicide attempts, and poor clinical and functioning outcomes for suicidal youths treated in emergency departments.Psychiatric services (Washington, D.C.) 11/2011; 62(11):1303-9. DOI:10.1176/appi.ps.62.11.1303 · 1.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Levels of expressed emotion (EE) in relatives are consistent predictors of relapse among bipolar and other mood disordered patients followed naturalistically. However, few studies have examined whether levels of EE predict the course of illness for patients engaged in psychosocial interventions. This study examined whether EE levels among caregivers moderated the success of family-based psychosocial interventions for patients with bipolar disorder. EE was examined as a predictor of symptomatic outcome in two groups: (1) bipolar patients receiving family-focused psychoeducational treatment (FFT) or integrated family and individual treatment (IFIT), and (2) bipolar patients receiving crisis management (CM), a less intensive intervention designed to emulate community care. Bipolar patients (N = 125) began the study in an acute illness episode, were stabilized on standard pharmacotherapy regimens, and followed for up to 2 years. Family EE status was not associated with time to relapse in either group. However, patients with high EE relatives reported higher levels of depression over the 2-year term of follow-up, regardless of treatment condition. An examination of the dimensions of EE (critical comments and emotional overinvolvement) indicated that a higher frequency of critical comments predicted higher levels of mania and depression at follow-up. Additionally, the association between EE criticism and levels of mania symptoms was stronger among patients in CM than among patients in family treatment. The participants were recruited from two separate treatment protocols. Patients in the IFIT protocol were not randomly assigned to treatments. EE is a predictor of symptom severity among bipolar patients undergoing pharmacological and psychosocial treatments, but family intervention may mitigate this association.Journal of Affective Disorders 12/2004; 82(3):343-52. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2004.02.004 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Family systems theory has been highly influential in the study of recurrent psychiatric disorders. This review examines two interrelated domains: research on expressed emotion (EE) attitudes among relatives (criticism, hostility, or emotionally overinvolvement) and relapses of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, and randomized trials of family intervention in these populations. The literature is discussed in terms of contemporary systems theory and concepts from developmental psychopathology research. Several conclusions are drawn: (a) levels of EE are correlated with caregivers' attributions regarding the controllability of patients' behaviors; (b) EE attitudes are associated with bidirectional, mutually influential cycles of interaction between relatives and patients; and (c) family psychoeducational therapy, when combined with pharmacotherapy, is associated with lower rates of relapse in schizophrenia and bipolar illness. Underlying disturbances in family systems may emerge in response to illness symptoms in a family member, but also have recursive effects on the developmental course of the illness once manifest. The nature and stability of these recursive effects will depend on dynamic processes in the patient, the relative, and their relationship. Future research should elucidate mediating and moderating variables in the pathways from EE to patients' outcomes, and the conditions under which family treatments bring about favorable outcomes of psychiatric disorder.Development and Psychopathology 02/2004; 16(3):667-88. DOI:10.1017/S0954579404004729 · 4.89 Impact Factor