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Research Alert!  Family-to-Family NIMH Study Preliminary Results Support Designation as an Evidence-based Practice

Dr. Lisa Dixon reported on the preliminary results  of the 4-year study on Family-to-Family to a packed meeting at the June convention. At the end of her detailed presentation, it was clear that the results of this large randomized trial confirmed the findings of the two earlier studies of the program.

In the NIMH study, a total of 318 family members were randomized into 2 groups:  160 into F2F  and 158 into a control group.  Of the total group, 77%were women,  61% were parents, 13% were siblings, 10% were spouse/partners, 7% were adult children, 8% were other. A total of 66% were Caucasian, 27% were African American, and 7% were of other races and ethnicities.

Preliminary results indicated that individuals having received F2F showed significantly greater overall empowerment within their family, the service system and their community.  This group had greater knowledge of mental illness, higher ratings of constructive emotion focused coping, higher ratings of personal skills related to family functioning, and lower ratings of anxiety, distress  and depression than individuals in the control condition.

The report concluded that this study provides strong evidence of the effectiveness of Family-to-Family, the most widely disseminated family support service in the country, and that the program merits consideration as an evidence- based practice.

Assessments of study participants at the 3 month post-course period are underway; it is estimated that the study will be complete by the end of the year.

Anyone  wishing to have a copy of the preliminary results summary, or the updated versions of the study soon to come, can contact Alicia Luckstead  410-706-3244 or aluckstead@psych.umaryland.edu .  The preliminary results  document can also be downloaded from the NAMI Family-to-Family intranet.


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