Schizophrenia in a member of the family: Burden, expressed emotion and addressing the needs of the whole family

Gian Lippi


How often do we find ourselves concentrating so much on treating a patient with schizophrenia that we forget about the needs and difficulties of the family members who take care of that patient? This article highlights the global and specific difficulties that families and caregivers experience in having to care for chronically ill family members with schizophrenia with a backdrop of continuing global deinstitutionalisation of such patients. Matters such as burden and expressed emotion are explored, family-specific interventions are discussed and areas of service delivery and resource inadequacies are identified.


Schizophrenia; Burden; Expressed emotion

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Submitted: 15 December 2015
Published: 31 August 2016

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South African Journal of Psychiatry    |    ISSN: 1608-9685 (PRINT)    |    ISSN: 2078-6786 (ONLINE)