Frequency and relevance of psychoeducation in psychiatric diagnoses: Results of two surveys five years apart in German-speaking European countries

Rummel-Kluge, Christine; Kluge, Michael; Kissling, Werner
August 2013
BMC Psychiatry;2013, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: Psychoeducation has been shown to reduce relapse rates in several psychiatric disorders. Studies investigating for which psychiatric diagnoses psychoeducation is offered and assessing its perceived relevance compared to other interventions are lacking. Methods: A two-part questionnaire addressing these questions was sent to the heads of all psychiatric hospitals in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Results were compared with those from a similar survey 5 years earlier. Results: 289 of 500 (58%) institutions responded. Significantly (p = 0,02) more institutions (93%) offer any type of psychoeducation as compared to 5 years before (86%). Psychoeducation is mainly offered for schizophrenia (86%) and depression (67%) and less frequently for anxiety disorders (18%) and substance abuse (17%). For the following specific diagnoses it is offered by less than 10% of the institutions: Personality disorder, bipolar disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, dementia, obsessive compulsive disorder, sleeping disorders, eating disorders, schizophrenia plus substance abuse, pain, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and early psychosis. 25% offer diagnosis-unspecific psychoeducation. 'Pharmacotherapy' (99%), 'basic occupational therapy' (95%) and 'psychoeducation for patients' (93%) were the therapies being most often, 'light therapy' (24%) and 'sleep deprivation' (16%) the therapies being least often perceived as relevant by the respondents when asked about the value of different interventions offered in their hospitals. Art therapy (61%) and psychoanalytically oriented psychotherapy (59%), two therapies with a smaller evidence base than light therapy or sleep deprivation, were perceived as relevant by more than the half of the respondents. Conclusion: Psychoeducation for patients is considered relevant and offered frequently in German-speaking countries, however, mostly only for schizophrenia and depression. The ranking of the perceived relevance of different treatment options suggests that the evidence base is not considered crucial for determining their relevance.


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