Skip to main content Accessibility help

Is It Ever Too Late to Learn? Information Provision to Relatives of Long-term Schizophrenia Sufferers*

  • Gary L. Sidley (a1), Jo Smith (a2) and Kevin Howells (a3)


This pilot study describes the provision of information tailored to meet the needs of families caring for a chronic schizophrenic member. An existing education package (Smith and Birchwood, 1987) was adapted to give greater emphasis to negative symptoms, myths/stereotypes and “quality of life” issues. A range of outcome measures revealed that the “original” education package promoted a greater reduction in the level of family burden whereas the “modified” package tended to promote greater belief in the efficacy of medication. Both educational programmes were associated with significant gains in knowledge per se (but not in “functional knowledge”) and significant positive changes in families' beliefs about their own role in the treatment process. The implications of these findings are discussed.



Hide All

Reprint requests to Gary L. Sidley, Craven Centre for Community Mental Health, 42 Keighley Road, Skipton, North Yorkshire, UK.


This paper is a shortened version of that submitted by the first author in part fulfilment of the degree of Master of Science (Clinical Psychology) at the University of Birmingham.



Hide All
Anderson, C., Hogarty, G. E. and Reiss, D. (1981). The psychoeducational family treatment of schizophrenia. In Goldstein, M. J. (Ed). New Developments in Interventions with Families of Schizophrenics. San Francisco: Jossey.
Barrowclough, C., Tarrier, N., Watts, S., Vaughn, C., Bamrah, J. S. and Freeman, H. L. (1987). Assessing the functional value of relatives' knowledge about schizophrenia: a preliminary report. British Journal of Psychiatry 151, 18.
Berkowitz, R., Eberlein-Fries, P., Kuipers, L. and Leff, J. (1984). Educating relatives about schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin 10(3), 418429.
Birchwood, M. (1983). Family coping behaviour and the course of schizophrenia. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.
Birchwood, M. and Smith, J. (1986). Schizophrenia. In Orford, J. (Ed). Coping with Disorder in the Family. Beckenham, Kent: Croom-Helm.
Campbell, D. and Stanley, J. (1962). Experimental and Quasi-experimental Designs for Research. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cozolino, L. J., Goldstein, M. J., Nuechterlein, K. H., West, K. L. and Snyder, K. S. (1988). The impact of education about schizophrenia on relatives varying in expressed emotion. Schizophrenia Bulletin 14(4), 675687.
Creer, C. and Wing, J. (1974). Schizophrenia at Home. Surbiton, Surrey: National Schizophrenia Fellowship.
Kellner, R. and Sheffield, B. (1973). A self-rating scale of distress. Psychological Medicine 3, 88100.
Leff, J., Kuipers, L., Berkowitz, R., Eberlein-Fries, R. and Sturgeon, D. (1982). A controlled trial of social interventions in families of schizophrenic patients. British Journal of Psychiatry 141, 121134.
McGill, C. W., Falloon, I. R. H., Boyd, J. L. and Wood-Siverio, C. (1983). Family educational intervention in the treatment of schizophrenia. Hospital and Community Psychiatry 34(10), 934938.
Pasamanick, B., Scarpitti, F. and Dinitz, S. (1967). Schizophrenia in the Community. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.
Smith, J. and Birchwood, M. J. (1985). Understanding Schizophrenia 1–4. Birmingham: West Birmingham Health Authority.
Smith, J. and Birchwood, M. J. (1987). Specific and non-specific effects of educational intervention with families living with a schizophrenic relative. British Journal of Psychiatry 150, 645652.
Tarrier, N. and Barrowclough, C. (1986). Providing information to relatives about schizophrenia: some comments. British Journal of Psychiatry 149, 458463.
Vaughn, C. and Leff, J. (1976). The influence of family and social factors on the course of psychiatric illness. British Journal of Psychiatry 129, 125137.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy
  • ISSN: 1352-4658
  • EISSN: 1469-1833
  • URL: /core/journals/behavioural-and-cognitive-psychotherapy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Is It Ever Too Late to Learn? Information Provision to Relatives of Long-term Schizophrenia Sufferers*

  • Gary L. Sidley (a1), Jo Smith (a2) and Kevin Howells (a3)
Submit a response


No Comments have been published for this article.


Reply to: Submit a response

Your details

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *