This blog is for the other people of bipolar disorder, the family, friends, and any significant other who have been through bipolar.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Mental Illness with Families
Improving Knowledge About Mental Illness Through Family-Led Education: The Journey of Hope
Susan A. Pickett-Schenk, Ph.D., Richard C. Lippincott, M.D., Cynthia Bennett, M.A. and Pamela J. Steigman, M.A. OBJECTIVE: Families often do not receive the information thatthey need to care for their adult relatives with mental illness.This study examined the effectiveness of a family-led educationintervention, the Journey of Hope, in improving participants'knowledge about mental illness and its treatment and decreasingtheir information needs. METHODS: A total of 462 family membersof adults with mental illness in Louisiana participated in thestudy; 231 were randomly assigned to immediate receipt of theJourney of Hope course (intervention group), and 231 were randomlyassigned to a nine-month waiting list for the course (controlgroup). Participants completed in-person, structured interviewsassessing their knowledge of mental illness and problem-solvingskills and their information needs at study enrollment (baseline),three months postbaseline, and eight months postbaseline. RESULTS:Random regression analyses indicate that at three and eightmonths postbaseline, compared with participants assigned tothe control group, those in the intervention group reportedgreater knowledge gains (beta=.84, p.01) and fewer needs forinformation on coping with positive symptoms (beta=-.63, p.05),coping with negative symptoms (beta=-.80, p.001), problem management(beta=-1.00, p.001), basic facts about mental illness and itstreatment (beta=-.73, p.01), and community resources (beta=-.07,p.05). These significant differences in knowledge and informationneeds were maintained over time and were significant even whencontrolling for participants' demographic characteristics andtheir relatives' clinical characteristics. CONCLUSIONS: Participationin family-led education interventions, such as the Journey ofHope, may provide families with the information they need tobetter cope with their relative's mental illness.