Family Psychiatry: From Research to Practice

Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Butler Hospital, Brown University School of Medicine, 345 Blackstone Blvd., Providence, RI 02906, USA.
American Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 12.3). 07/2006; 163(6):962-8. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.163.6.962
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this article is to review current research evidence for clinicians involving families in the assessment and treatment of their patients.
Research on effects of family support on illness outcome and outcomes of family-centered treatment in medicine, pediatrics, and psychiatry are reviewed.
Research in many medical fields shows that families have powerful influences on health that are equal to or surpass other risk factors and that brief family interventions increase health and decrease the risk of relapse in chronic illnesses. Research in psychiatry affirms that family interventions reduce the rate of relapse, improve recovery, and increase family well-being.
Current evidence supports increased emphasis on family-oriented psychiatric practice.

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    • "Mothers' character weakness and daughter's immaturity MCC1 cluster (about 1/3 of the sample) is composed of individuals with features of immaturity displaying low scores across all character dimensions (Cloninger, 1994). In line with previous research, these mothers show some fragile characteristics leading to blaming attitudes (Fassino et al., 2002, 2003, 2009a); the eventual presence of a personality disorder may impact on the pathogenesis and course of eating symptoms (Bulik et al., 2000; Rorty et al., 2000; Polivy and Herman, 2002; Heru, 2006). The features of the MCC1 group were found to be linearly correlated to a lower development of self-directive skills in daughters and this finding echoes those of earlier literature on the relationship between parenting and daughters' character traits (Oshino et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study explores how parents' personality clusters relate to their eating disordered daughters' personality and psychopathology. Mothers and fathers were tested with the Temperament Character Inventory. Their daughters were assessed with the following: Temperament and Character Inventory, Eating Disorder Inventory-2, Symptom Checklist-90, Parental Bonding Instrument, Attachment Style Questionnaire, and Family Assessment Device. Daughters' personality traits and psychopathology scores were compared between clusters. Daughters' features were related to those of their parents. Explosive/adventurous mothers were found to relate to their daughters' borderline personality profile and more severe interoceptive awareness. Mothers' immaturity was correlated to their daughters' higher character immaturity, inadequacy, and depressive feelings. Fathers who were explosive/methodic correlated with their daughters' character immaturity, severe eating, and general psychopathology. Fathers' character immaturity only marginally related to their daughters' specific features. Both parents' temperament clusters and mothers' character clusters related to patients' personality and eating psychopathology. The cluster approach to personality-related dynamics of families with an individual affected by an eating disorder expands the knowledge on the relationship between parents' characteristics and daughters' illness, suggesting complex and unique relationships correlating parents' personality traits to their daughters' disorder. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015
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    • "brief family involvement will improve health and recovery, reduce the risk of a relapse, and increase family wellbeing [3] [12]. As mentioned, the focus of this study is on psychiatrists' experience of involving the family when treating women with PPP. "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to describe Swedish psychiatrists’ experiences of involving the family in the treatment of women with postpartum psychosis. A qualitative design was used, and semistructured qualitative research interviews were conducted with nine psychiatrists from the south of Sweden. Data were analysed using qualitative content analysis. Four categories were found: the family as a resource , the family as coworkers , preparing the family for the future , and the family as a burden . The result showed that the psychiatrists considered the family to be a resource to which they devoted a great deal of care and effort. It was particularly important to involve the partner, informing about the course of the illness and the steps that need to be taken in the event of a relapse and reducing any guilt feelings. The psychiatrists instilled confidence and hope for a future of health and further child bearing. The family members’ limited understanding of the treatment may impede the involvement of the family. Conclusion of the study was that the goal for family involvement was to facilitate the women’s care and treatment. Further studies are needed to provide suggestions on how to develop family involvement in the care of women suffering from postpartum psychosis.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013
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    • "In a recent article, Van Meekeren and Baars (2011) argue that psychiatric disorders of clients are influential on the well-being of their social network and vice versa (see alsoWalton-Moss et al., 2005). As several researchers (Heru, 2006;Mueser et al., 2003;Sherman and Carothers, 2005) note, families are a valuable source in elevating stressful circumstances, but could also unintentionally contribute to the maintenance of problems. Loss of support from the social network holds serious implications for clients, insofar as they risk ending up in a downward spiral of marginalisation and social isolation (Lourens et al., 2002). "
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    ABSTRACT: From January 2011 until December 2012, forty Family Group Conferences (FGCs) will be studied in the public mental health care (PMHC) setting in the province of Groningen, the Netherlands. Research should yield an answer to whether FGCs are valuable for clients in PMHC as a means to generate social support, to prevent coercion and to elevate the work of professionals. The present study reports on two case studies in which shame and fear of rejection are designated as main causes for clients to avoid contact with their social network, resulting in isolated and marginalised living circumstances. Shame, on the other hand, is also a powerful engine in preventing clients from relapse into marginalised circumstances for which one needs to feel ashamed again. An FGC offers a forum where clients are able to discuss their shameful feelings with their social network; it generates support and helps breaking through vicious circles of marginalisation and social isolation. Findings of these case studies confirm an assumption from a previous study that a limited or broken social network is not a contraindication, but a reason for organising FGCs.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2012 · British Journal of Social Work
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