• expressed emotion;
  • family psychoeducational program;
  • knowledge;
  • relapse;
  • schizophrenia

Aims:  Family psychoeducational programs have been shown to be effective in terms of knowledge acquirement and relapse prevention, but few studies have looked at whether one mode of educational method is more effective than another. The aim of the present study was to compare several modes of educational approaches and to elucidate which mode of education is more effective.

Methods:  A total of 110 relatives of 95 patients with schizophrenia received three types of family psychoeducational programs between January 1995 and September 2003: a small group with two sessions (P1), a large group with nine sessions (P2), and a large group with five sessions (P3). In addition to the demographic data, acquired knowledge was measured using the modified Knowledge About Schizophrenia Interview (KASI), family expressed emotion (EE), and relapse episodes.

Results:  Overall there were significant increases in many KASI subcategory scores after the three programs, in mothers in particular. The change in KASI scores indicated that the low EE group was able to be highly educated and that the relatives of non-relapsers were more effectively educated. As for the mode of the family psychoeducational program, the P1 and P2 groups surpassed the P3 in terms of knowledge acquired.

Conclusions:  Effects of family psychoeducation may depend not on the number of members or sessions but on the time spent on the program per member.