Depressive disorder is often chronic and recurrent, and results in a heavy psychosocial burden on the families of patients with this disorder. This study aims to examine the effectiveness of brief multifamily psychoeducation designed to alleviate their psychosocial burden.
Thirty-two relatives of patients with major depressive disorder participated in an open study testing the effectiveness of brief multifamily psychoeducation. The intervention consisted of four sessions over the course of 6 weeks. Outcome measures focused on emotional distress, care burden and Expressed Emotion (EE).
The emotional distress, care burden and EE of the family all showed statistically significant improvements from baseline to after the family intervention. The proportion of relatives scoring 9 or more on K6, which indicates possible depressive or anxiety disorder, decreased from sixteen relatives (50.0%) at baseline, to only 3 relatives (9.3%) after the intervention.
This study suggests that brief multifamily psychoeducation is a useful intervention to reduce the psychosocial burden of the relatives of patients with depressive disorder. Further evaluation of family psychoeducation for relatives of patients with depressive disorder is warranted.