[The determinants of emotional climate in families of patients with schizophrenia: a cross-sectional study of 50 families]


Introduction:

expressed emotion (EE) is a concept which dates back to the sixties and refers to the attitude that relatives have toward a family member with schizophrenia. It comprises three behavioral patterns: criticism, hostility, and emotional overinvolvement. An important body of literature has shown that high expressed emotion (EE) is a factor of relapse in schizophrenia. The purpose of our study was to measure expressed emotion in the families of a Moroccan sample of patients and then to investigate factors associated with high EE.


Methods:

fifty (50) patients with stable schizophrenia, each with a relative involved in their care, were recruited during outpatients visits. Sociodemographic data were collected and the FAS scale was used by relatives. Data were also collected from the mental representations of relatives about the patient and disease. Statistical analysis was carried out using the SPSS software and was based on the Chi 2 tests as well as T tests for independent samples.


Results:

forty-eight percent (48%) of relatives had a high EE. High EE was associated with a feeling of shame toward the patient. It was also associated with cannabis addiction. Low EE was associated with the fact that the patient financially took care of his family.


Conclusion:

the knowledge of the determinants of high EE in our socio-cultural context is essential in order to direct any psycho-educational intervention aimed at reducing EE.


Keywords:

Expressed emotion; family; schizophrenia.

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