Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 145-149

Understanding family functioning and social support in unremitting schizophrenia: A study in India

Department of Psychiatry, KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, India

Correspondence Address:
Kamal S Jethwani
Flat No. 2, Vasudha Apartments, Opposite Century Bazar, Prabhadevi, Mumbai - 400 025
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.64593

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Context: This study aimed to clarify the difference in the perception of family functioning and social support by the schizophrenic patients and their principal caretakers, and whether the social support is related to healthy family functioning. Setting and Design: The study was set in the psychiatric outpatient department of a tertiary care hospital and data was collected by means of a semi-structured interview. Materials and Methods: Fifty unremitting schizophrenics diagnosed by diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM)-IV criteria and their family members were interviewed. Family functioning was assessed by the family assessment device (FAD) and the social support was assessed by the multidimensional scale of perceived social support (MSPSS). Statistical Analysis: Group differences were analyzed using unpaired 't' test for comparison of FAD and MSPSS means and subscale scores. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used to find the direction and magnitude of association between the various dimensions (subscales) of FAD and the social support from family. Results: Schizophrenic patients had more difficulty on problem solving as compared to their relatives, while no significant differences were noted on the other dimensions of FAD in the two groups. Also, schizophrenics perceived more social support from friends than from their families. All the dimensions of the family functioning correlated to the social support perceived from the family in the schizophrenic patients. Conclusions: Our study highlights the need to study the issues of perception of family functioning and social support so as to improve the prognosis in a disabling disorder like schizophrenia. Providing better social support and understanding the family functioning will result in strengthening the family as a unit, so as to provide better care to the patient.



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