Expressed emotion and schizophrenia in Italy. A study of an urban population.
P Bertrando, J Beltz, C Bressi, M Clerici, T Farma, G Invernizzi, C L Cazzullo


Forty-two schizophrenic patients and their close relatives took part in an Italian replication study of expressed emotion (EE). The patients were selected from the psychiatric ward of a general hospital in Milan and were subsequently followed up for nine months. All patients attended a community service clinic as out-patients, and all but one were prescribed neuroleptics for the duration of the study. Relatives were assigned to the high-EE group if they scored 4 or 5 on the emotional overinvolvement (EOI) scale, or showed hostility, or made six or more critical comments. On this basis, 18 (42%) families were rated as low EE and 24 (57%) as high EE. At follow-up, the admission rate for the 9-month period was significantly higher for the high-EE group (P less than 0.05). Furthermore, significantly fewer patients were readmitted from families showing high warmth (P less than 0.05). The presence of high warmth appeared to be associated with a lower admission rate, even in high-EE families.