Immigrant families coping with schizophrenia. Behavioral family intervention v. case management with a low-income Spanish-speaking population.
C Telles, M Karno, J Mintz, G Paz, M Arias, D Tucker, S Lopez


BACKGROUND This investigation compared the effectiveness and cross-cultural applicability of behavioural family management (BFM) and standard case management in preventing exacerbation of symptoms and relapse in schizophrenia.

METHOD Forty low-income Spanish-speaking people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia were randomly assigned to receive standard case management or behavioural family management after stabilisation with neuroleptic medication.

RESULTS Survival analyses indicated that among the less acculturated patients BFM was significantly related to greater risk of exacerbation of symptoms. Among the more acculturated patients, risk of exacerbation could be predicted by medication compliance but not by type of intervention. In analyses of symptom severity and functional status at 1-year follow-up, the level of patient acculturation was found to be significantly related to various measures of treatment outcome.

CONCLUSION Sociocultural factors affect responses to different types of intervention. The results did not support earlier findings of a beneficial effect of BFM when applied to a socioculturally diverse population.