Title

A family approach to severe mental illness in post-war Kosovo

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2005

Journal

Psychiatry

Volume

68

Issue

1

DOI

10.1521/psyc.68.1.17.64187

Abstract

This study describes the effects of a psychoeducational multiple-family group program for families of people with severe mental illness in post-war Kosovo that was developed by a Kosovar-American professional collaborative. The subjects were 30 families of people with severe mental illnesses living in two cities in Kosovo. All subjects participated in multiple-family groups and received family home visits. The program documented medication compliance, number of psychiatric hospitalizations, family mental health services use, and several other characteristics, for the year prior to the groups and the first year of the groups. The families attended an average of 5.5 (out of 7) groups, and 93% of these families attended four or more meetings. The uncontrolled pre- to post-intervention comparison demonstrated decreases in medication non-compliance and hospitalizations, and increases in family mental health service use. The program provided training for mental health professionals, led to policy change in the Ministry of Health, and resulted in dissemination to other community mental health centers. This study provides preliminary evidence that a collaboratively designed and implemented psychoeducational, multiple-family program is a feasible and beneficial intervention for families of people with severe mental illness in impoverished post-war settings.

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