Family psychoeducation interventions have demonstrated significant clinical and functional outcomes among consumers with schizophrenia and their family members. In particular, interventions that incorporate protective factors with low acculturated Latinos have been found to benefit this cultural group, suggesting that protective factors are influential in supporting treatment effects. Protective factors such as family level of hope are used by consumers and families to improve difficult experiences resulting from the illness. However, few studies have examined the role of protective factors in family psychoeducation interventions. Moreover, family psychoeducation studies tend to focus on relapse as a criterion for treatment success, thus obscuring other potential intervention benefits. Because culture plays an instrumental role in perceptions of wellness, it is important to examine consumer and family member perceptions of treatment outcomes. The proposed study seeks to address these gaps in knowledge by examining the positive influence of salient protective factors (family cohesion and adaptability, family warmth, family level of hope) on treatment outcomes for consumers (symptoms, quality of life) and key family members (burden, knowledge of the illness). The study will focus on the following aims: (1) examine the effects of protective factors on outcomes for consumers and families who participated in a culturally based family intervention compared to those who received treatment as usual;and (2) identify culturally specific perceptions of salient clinical and functional outcomes experienced by consumers and family members following completion of the intervention. To achieve these aims, this study will be informed by a cultural exchange framework and will utilize a sequential explanatory mixed-method design with secondary quantitative data (N = 64) from an NIMH-funded intervention development study of a culturally based family psychoeducation model for Latinos. Phase 1 will involve examining the effects of protective factors on consumer and family outcomes over time, followed by mediation analyses of the influence of protective factors on intervention outcomes (Aim 1). Findings will inform the second phase of the study, during which qualitative data from a subset of participants (20 consumers and 20 key family members) from the parent study will be collected and analyzed to explore culturally specific perceptions of wellness and how the intervention influenced perceptions of the illness, treatment, and service utilization (Aim 2). This study seeks to elucidate how culturally based psychoeducation interventions may enhance culturally salient protective factors and further support the use and effectiveness of this intervention for Latino consumers with schizophrenia and their families.

Public Health Relevance

This study will advance our knowledge of the influence of culturally based psychoeducation interventions on salient protective factors for Latino consumers with schizophrenia and their families. By addressing this gap in knowledge, we can optimize the benefits of culturally based family psychoeducation interventions and inform and further develop evidence-based treatments for Latino consumers with schizophrenia, an under-served and under-researched group.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Dissertation Award (R36)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZMH1-ERB-B (03))
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Hill, Lauren D
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University of Southern California
Schools of Social Work
Los Angeles
United States
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