Caregiver distress in first-episode psychosis: the role of subjective appraisal, over-involvement and symptomatology

Jens Einar Jansen*, Ulrik Helt Haahr, Susanne Harder, Anne Marie Trauelsen, Hanne Grethe Lyse, Marlene Buch Pedersen, Erik Simonsen

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review


Background: Caregivers of persons with first-episode psychosis (FEP) often report high levels of distress. Preventing long-term or chronic distress within the whole family is an important focus of early intervention for psychosis. However, a more comprehensive understanding of the psychological factors involved is needed. Aims: To examine the impact of subjective appraisals and expressed emotion on caregiver distress in FEP. Method: Within a cross-sectional design, 154 caregivers of 99 persons with FEP in a clinical epidemiological sample completed a series of questionnaires to examine potential predictors of caregiver distress. Results: Thirty-seven percent of caregivers were suffering from clinically significant distress. A linear mixed model analysis found that, after controlling for caregiver socio-demographic factors, service-user symptoms and global functioning, emotional over-involvement and subjective appraisal of caregiving were significant predictors of caregiver distress. Conclusion: Caregiver distress is significant in the early phase of illness, and this seems to be more related to their subjective appraisal and over-involvement, than to variations in symptoms and global functioning of the person diagnosed with FEP. This lends further support to the stress-appraisal coping model and the cognitive model of caregiving in FEP, and highlights supportive interventions aimed at handling unhelpful cognitions and behaviors.

Sider (fra-til)371-378
Antal sider8
TidsskriftSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
Udgave nummer3
StatusUdgivet - 1 mar. 2015


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