Background. Family of schizophrenic patient plays a key role in their psychosocial adaptation. On the other hand, according to numerous data, adverse family relations are associated with high relapse risk. Family member’s illness is a severe stress factor for the whole family. However, families differ from each other to the degrees of emerging dysfunctions. Yet mechanisms which underlay interactional disturbances in those families remain unexplored.
Objective. The study represents complex research of the role of symptoms severity, interactional characteristics of a family, which are represented in family flexibility and cohesion parameters (FACES-3), and emotional and communicative competence (EmIn Lousin D.V.) as well as life satisfaction of main caregiver in psychosocial adaptation of a patient with schizophrenia.
Design. The paper presents the research of 122 test subjects, paired in dyads – schizophrenic patient (paranoid form) and their major caregiver. Patients gender distribution: 33 female and 28 males, average age 32.5±9.44 (M±SD), hospitalizations rate – 5.44 ±5.27, average illness duration – 9.93±6.85. Caregiver’s genders: 12 males and 49 females. Average major caregiver’s age – 53±11.91.
Results. Derived from structural equations, a model was invented showing that symptoms severity plays negative role in psychosocial adaptation of a patient with schizophrenia (p<0.001), whilst more balanced family characteristics have a supportive effect (p<0.001). Communicative competence of major caregiver increases balance of family characteristics (p<0.001).
Conclusion. The results indicate that the possibilities of social adaptation in patients with schizophrenia are determined by both objective factors (the severity of psychopathological symptoms) and the character of family dysfunctions that are closely associated with the emotional and communicative competence of main caregivers. In this way development of communicational skills in major caregivers may be the part of complex psychosocial interventions into schizophrenic patient’s families. Further research in this area may be aimed both at assessing the effectiveness of interventions, and at improving the tools to be used through experimental methods of assessing the family disruptions and emotional and communicative competence, as well as expanding the number of measured parameters (e.g. cognitive deficit of patients) for a more comprehensive understanding of the problem.