An education intervention for families of people with schizophrenia in China: development and evaluation

Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


In China, nurses and physicians are the main care providers for people with schizophrenia. This care is provided primarily in institutions because community services are in their infancy, and families carry the burden of care. In the absence of published nursing research in the area, this article reports the rigorous development and evaluation of a culturally sensitive patient/family intervention, which was implemented in a large psychiatric hospital in Beijing, China. A random sample of 15 nurses responded to an open-ended questionnaire to explore what they believed people with schizophrenia and their family members should learn. A convenience sample of 51 family members who lived with a person with schizophrenia were also interviewed to explore what they understood and needed to know about schizophrenia. Common learning needs were integrated with the literature and presented as the Comprehensive Patient/Family Education Guide, which was implemented with an experimental group of 42 family members, while a control group of 45 received the usual hospital treatment. The effect of the intervention was evaluated by interviewing a random sample of 19 of the family members. The results revealed some useful information for the future planning and implementation of such programs, and although focused on a Chinese sample, do offer insights for nurses around the world


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services