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Revista de Psiquiatria do Rio Grande do Sul

Print version ISSN 0101-8108


CABRAL, Rita Regina Fabri  and  CHAVES, Ana Cristina. Knowledge of the disease and treatment expectations in relatives of patients with the first psychotic episode: a cross-sectional study. Rev. psiquiatr. Rio Gd. Sul [online]. 2005, vol.27, n.1, pp.32-38. ISSN 0101-8108.

INTRODUCTION: Family members are important in the care and recovery of first-episode psychotic patients. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the knowledge of the disease and the treatment expectations of the relatives of patients at their first psychotic episode. METHOD: Before participating in a multi-family group, relatives of first-episode psychotic patients answered a questionnaire concerning their knowledge of the illness and their treatment expectations. RESULTS: The sample consisted of 47 women (82.5%) and 10 men (17.5%), mostly mothers. Answers showed no or little knowledge about the psychotic crisis, its symptoms, treatment and medication. Sixteen (28%) individuals did not provide an answer for the question about what they would like to discuss in the multi-family group, 12 (21%) wanted to know how to deal with and care for their ill relative, six (10.5%) would like to talk about everything, six (10.5%) wanted to understand the patient's problem, and the remaining 17 patients (30%) wanted to talk about the illness and related subjects. DISCUSSION: The results show that there is little knowledge about the disease, and that the relatives of first-episode psychotic patients are interested to know how to deal with the situation. CONCLUSION: Relatives of first-episode psychotic patients should be offered receptiveness and information. This can have a positive influence on the adherence to treatment, the quality of family relations, and the outcome.

Keywords : Family therapy; schizophrenia; psychotic episodes.

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