What works in family psychoeducation for depression? A component analysis of a six-week program for family-carers of people with depression

Pamela Brady, Maria Kangas, Katherine McGill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that Family Psychoeducation (FPE) improves outcomes for the person with depression, as well as improving the mental health of their carers. However, which elements of FPE are most important for carers of people with depression has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the ‘big three’ FPE components, education, skills and social support, that have been identified as important in FPE for people with Schizophrenia, are equally important in FPE for people with depression.
The second aim was to identify whether the relative importance of these three components differ for particular demographic groups. Participants comprised 553 family-carers of people with depression who completed the “Partners in Depression” FPE program. Findings showed that improved coping skills (specifically, communication with the depressed person and self-care) and improved social support were the most important program components for reducing carer distress. Women reported greater benefits than men from the social support and communication skills components of the program. Improvement in knowledge of depression was not related to a reduction in psychological distress. This study provides preliminary evidence of the importance of the skills and support components in FPE for people with depression, particularly for women.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-84
Number of pages18
JournalThe Australian community psychologist
Volume28
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017

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