Introduction: The aim of this study was to find out the effects of group psychoeducation (GPE) on the scheduled clinic appointments of patients admitted for psychosis and depression after discharge from hospital. Materials and Methods: A randomised controlled trial (RCT) of 4 sessions of GPE delivered while the patients were admitted was conducted and compared to no session of GPE with the usual care. This RCT was conducted in a 60-bed state reference neuro-psychiatric hospital in Southwest of Nigeria. The study population consisted of 48 admitted patients for psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia and depression. Twenty-five patients admitted were randomly selected to undergo 4 sessions of GPE before discharge from hospital, and 23 patients were randomly selected to receive regular medication and care without undergoing GPE. Both groups were then followed for 9 months on clinic days to measure compliance with scheduled appointments. Main outcome was measured by the number of clinic appointments kept within the period of study after discharge from hospital. Results: Patients in the treatment group were consistently more compliant with scheduled clinic appointments than those in the experimental group (P = 0.0009, DF = 34; t-test at 95% CI). There was also no significant difference in compliance with visits among patients with different diagnoses (treatment group; P = 0.90, DF = 12, experimental group; P = 0.33, DF = 11). Conclusion: GPE is effective in improving patients’ compliance with scheduled clinic appointments after discharge for a period of 9 months. GPE can be used as part of treatment package for all psychiatric diagnoses and it has no age bias.
The appropriate treatment of mental disorders implies the rational use of pharmacological, psychological and psychosocial interventions in a clinical and integrated way.1 Psychological treatment methods have been found to be effective in the treatment of mental disorders,2 and group psychoeducation (GPE), a form of psychological or psychosocial treatment has been demonstrated to be useful in a broad range of psychiatric disorders.3-6 It has also been found effective and useful in primary care settings.7,8
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