Expressed emotion in relatives of patients with Eating Disorders following skills training program




The first aim of this work was to examine whether high expressed emotion (EE) would be associated with psychological distress and negative appraisal of caregiving. The second aim was to examine whether could replicate the findings of (Uehara et al., Compr Psychiatr, 42, 132–138, 2001) regarding a reduction in EE in association with a psycho-educational intervention.


A prospective exploratory follow-up assessment of 47 caregivers in which EE was measured by Five Minutes Speech Sample, Experience of Caregiving Inventory and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12).


High EE ratings were found in 26/47 (55%) carers at baseline. The high EE group had a higher negative aspects of caregiving (high EE = 109.8 vs. low EE = 93.7, p = 0.04). The number of carers with high-EE fell from 55% to 24% after intervention, and remained below at follow-up. The levels of distress and caregiving burden of the caregivers were also reduced.


Fifty-five percent of the caregivers have high EE. High-EE relatives noted a higher caregiving burden than low-EE relatives particularly on the ‘dimension of loss’. The level of EE was reduced following a skills training program. © 2009 by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2010;)