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A study of family contact with clients and staff of community mental health teams

  • Yael Krupnik (a1), Steve Pilling (a2), Helen Killaspy (a3) and Joy Dalton (a4)
Abstract
Aims and Method

Despite good evidence for their effectiveness in the treatment of schizophrenia, family interventions are difficult to implement. Prior to a local trust-wide programme to encourage their use, we carried out a case note review of family contact with clients and staff of community mental health teams (CMHTs). A 10% sample of CMHT clients was included.

Results

The majority (81%) of clients had been in contact with family or carers in the preceding year. In 88% of case files the carers were relatives. In 37% of cases care coordinators were in recent contact with carers, primarily by telephone. Evidence of any family intervention was recorded in 5% of case files and carers' assessments in 7%.

Clinical Implications

The majority of CMHT clients have some form of contact with their families, and care coordinators make informal links with these families. This contact could be reframed to encourage more formal family interventions.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Corry, P. (2003) Rethink severe mental illness: challenges and achievements. Progress in Neurology and Psychiatry, 6, 2021.
Department of Health (1999) The National Service Framework for Mental Health. London: Stationery Office.
Dixon, L., Luckstead, A., Stewart, B., et al (2000) Therapists' contacts with family members of persons with severe mental illness in a community treatment programme. Psychiatric Services, 51, 14491451.
Fadden, G. (1997) Implementation of family interventions in routine clinical practice following staff training programs: A major cause for concern. Journal of Mental Health, 6, 599612.
Mcfarlane, W. R., Mcnary, S., Dixon, L., et al (2001) Predictors of dissemination of family psychoeducation in community mental health centres in Maine and Illinois. Psychiatric Services, 52, 935942.
National Institute for Clinical Excellence (2002) Schizophrenia: core interventions in the treatment and management of schizophrenia in primary and secondary care. Clinical Guideline No. 1. London: NICE.
Pharoah, F. M., Mari, J. J. & Streiner, D. (2002) Family intervention for schizophrenia (Cochrane Review). In The Cochrane Library, Issue 2. Oxford: Update Software.
Pilling, S., Bebbington, P., Kuipers, E., et al (2002) Psychological treatments in schizophrenia. I: Meta-analysis of family intervention and cognitive behaviour therapy. Psychological Medicine, 32, 763782.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
  • URL: /core/journals/bjpsych-bulletin
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A study of family contact with clients and staff of community mental health teams

  • Yael Krupnik (a1), Steve Pilling (a2), Helen Killaspy (a3) and Joy Dalton (a4)
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