Last updated on February 2018

Family Psychoeducation for Major Depressive Disorder


Brief description of study

The aim of the present study is to compare an intervention consisting of Family Psychoeducation (FPE) to an active control intervention of social support for relatives of patients with a diagnosis of major depression.

Detailed Study Description

More than 50 % of patients experiencing their first depressive episode will have at least one new episode. Therefore, effective interventions to reduce the risk of relapse are.

Psychoeducation is an interactive education form enhancing knowledge about patients' illness, including it course, symptoms and treatment.

Psychoeducational methods can also act as family intervention which already is an evidence-based practice in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

In spite of unipolar depression's high prevalence, only few studies have focused on the effect of psychoeducation, including family psychoeducation, in the prevention of new depressive episodes.

The aim of the present study is to compare an intervention consisting of Family Psychoeducation (FPE) to an active control intervention of social support for relatives of patients with a diagnosis of major depression.

The following hypotheses are proposed:

  1. Psychoeducational intervention for relatives will reduces the risk of depressive relapse (defined as a score on The Hamilton six-item subscale, HAM-D67), among remitted depressed patients compared to the control condition
  2. Psychoeducational intervention for relatives will shorten time to achieve full symptomatic remission (defined as a score HAM-D6<5) among partially remitted depressed patients compared to the control condition
  3. Psychoeducational intervention for relatives will more effectively reduce depressive symptoms (measured on the HAM-D6) among patients fully symptomatic currently depressed patients, compared to control condition.

Secondary aims The study has as a secondary goal to investigate whether a high level of expressed emotion (EE) in relatives at baseline will be associated with poorer outcome, in the form of relapse, in depressed patients.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT02348827

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