Self-reported coping strategies in families of patients in early stages of psychotic disorder: An exploratory study.

  • Gerson R
  • Wong C
  • Davidson L
 et al. 
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Aim: Coping by families of patients with schizophrenia include 'approach' strategies considered to be adaptive (e.g. reinterpretation) and potentially maladaptive 'avoidant' strategies (denial/disengagement, use of alcohol and drugs). Little is known about coping strategies used by families of individuals with incipient or emergent psychosis. Methods: Self-reported coping styles were assessed in family members of 11 ultra high risk and 12 recent-onset psychosis patients, using a modified version of Carver's Coping Orientations to Problems Experienced questionnaire. Results: Families reported moderate use of 'approach' coping (e.g. planning, seeking social support, positive reinterpretation, acceptance and turning to religion) and rare use of 'avoidant' coping strategies (denial/disengagement and use of alcohol and drugs). Conclusions: The greater endorsement of 'approach' coping by these families is consistent with findings for families of first episode psychosis patients, and it is in contrast to more prevalent 'avoidant' coping by families of patients with more chronic psychotic illness. Early intervention could plausibly help families maintain the use of potentially more adaptive 'approach' coping strategies over time. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved) (journal abstract)

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  • Ruth Gerson

  • Celine Wong

  • Larry Davidson

  • Dolores Malaspina

  • Thomas McGlashan

  • Cheryl Corcoran

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