Master of Social Work (MSW)
Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work
Previous research has demonstrated that, in schizophrenia, the two most salient psychosocial variables in the prediction of symptomatic outcome for the patient are Expressed Emotion and Family Burden. In an early study, Family Burden was found to be a better predictor of relapse than Expressed Emotion. Family Burden is a measure of patient behaviours, not symptoms, and the degree to which they bother the relative. In that study, Family Burden is measured by the Perceived Family Burden Scale, (PFBS). In the same study, using a sample of 38 male patients with schizophrenia, two variables were found to be significant predictors of the patients' level of psychotic symptoms at follow-up: (1) the patients' level of psychotic symptoms at Time 1 (a remitted phase of the patients' illness), and (2) the subjective component of the PFBS. The purpose of this sub-study was the further exploration of the PFBS and its relationship to the psychotic symptom status of patients. The aim of this sub-study was twofold: (1) to test whether individual items of the PFBS significantly predict outcome in a sub-sample of 34 male patients; (2) to test whether the total, average or extreme subjective scores of the PFBS significantly predict patients' psychotic symptom levels at follow-up. Findings of this sub-study suggest that although individual item scores of the PFBS are not predictive of patients' symptomatic status at follow-up, the extreme subjective scores of the PFBS, together with patients' psychotic symptom levels at Time 1, significantly predict the follow-up level of psychotic symptoms, accounting for 34% of the variance in the follow-up level of psychotic symptoms. These findings suggest that the extreme subjective evaluation of patient behaviours by parents may be clinically relevant in identifying families in which there is an increased risk of psychotic relapse for an adult child suffering from schizophrenia.
Golob, Alison, "The relationship between family burden ratings and follow-up psychotic symptom levels in schizophrenia" (2004). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 169.