The effects of family work training on mental health nurses' attitude to and knowledge of schizophrenia: a replication


Catherine Gamble, Lecturer/Practitioner, Maudsley Education Centre, The Maudsley Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SES 8A2, England.


The association between expressed emotion and the outcome of schizophrenia is well established, and the efficacy of family work for schizophrenia has been demonstrated. Mental health nurses are an expanding group in mental health service provision but their training does not include family work. Although there is some evidence that training mental health nurses in schizophrenia family work increases their knowledge of, and changes their attitudes towards schizophrenia, very little research has been conducted in this area. This paper replicates a previous study, and investigates whether mental health nurses can change their attitude and beliefs, and increase their knowledge about schizophrenia. Knowledge increased and attitudes changed during the initial period (3 months), and the gains were maintained throughout the %month course. However, in order to incorporate the skills learnt into their routine practice, mental health nurses will continue to need ongoing recognition, support, and enthusiasm from colleagues and managers.