Evaluation of a peer-led mutual support group for Chinese families of people with schizophrenia

Wai Tong Chien*, David Thompson, Ian Norman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

46 Citations (Scopus)


Family interventions in schizophrenia have shown positive effects on patients but little attention has been paid to their effects on family members, particularly those in non-Western countries. This randomized controlled trial evaluated the effectiveness of a bi-weekly, 12-session, family-led mutual support group for Chinese caregivers of schizophrenia sufferers over 6 months compared with standard psychiatric care. It was conducted with 76 families of outpatients with schizophrenia in Hong Kong of whom 38 were assigned randomly to either a mutual support group or standard care. Families' psychosocial health status and patients' symptom severity and length of re-hospitalizations at recruitment, one-week and 12-month post-intervention were compared between groups. Results of repeated-measures mixed model indicated that the mutual support group experienced significantly greater improvements in families' burden, functioning and number of support persons and length of patients' re-hospitalizations at two post-tests. The findings provide evidence that mutual support groups can be an effective family-initiated, community-based intervention for Chinese schizophrenia sufferers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-134
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Community Psychology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sep 2008


  • Chinese
  • Family caregivers
  • Mutual support group
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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