BACKGROUND The shortage of mental health care in rural China might be tackled by community care. This study tests the hypothesis that family intervention increases patients' treatment compliance, which is crucial in community care.
METHOD A cohort of psychiatric patients were randomly selected to a controlled trial for four months. Compliance rates, clinical and social outcomes were measured double-blindly.
RESULTS The compliance rate was increased significantly in the trial group, and they had better clinical and social outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS Family intervention is an effective method of improving treatment compliance and should be an important part of community mental health care.