This article investigates the level of distress in relatives at the time of an acute episode of illness in the schizophrenia sufferer. Guided by attributional literature on the prediction of distress and depression, the association between relatives' distress and their explanations and beliefs concerning the illness is examined in the context of the expressed emotion status of the relative. The study found that although distress levels were unrelated to the relatives' beliefs about the patient's role in negative events, beliefs that illness events were caused by factors internal to the relatives themselves (“self-blaming” beliefs) were associated with distress in the relatives. The authors argue that understanding the cognitive appraisal processes involved in how caregivers perceive schizophrenia is important to understanding their response to the illness and helping them to adapt to the problems.
Schizophrenia Bulletin – Oxford University Press
Published: Jan 1, 1996
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