INTRODUCTION: Psychosocial interventions are frequently used in the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. The aim of this study is to introduce the I Can Ride the Storm program, which was developed for patients with schizophrenia, and to examine the effects of the program on the patients functionality, life satisfaction, and perceived family burden.
METHODS: The sample consisted of 20 (11 females and 9 males) patients diagnosed with schizophrenia who were willing to participate in group sessions and enroll in a community-based mental health service in a state hospital in Aydın. Five groups consisting of 56 patients were formed within a 2-year period. Each group had a total of nine sessions that lasted for one and a half months. The Functional Recovery Scale in Schizophrenia, the Functioning Assessment Short Test, and the Life Satisfaction Scale were administered to the patients, and the Perceived Family Burden Scale was administered to the family members of patients, before and after the program. Group sessions were conducted by a therapist and a co-therapist, who were supervised by two senior researchers.
RESULTS: The non-parametric Wilcoxon Signed Rank test was performed to compare the differences between the pretest and post-test scores. The results indicated that the Life Satisfaction Scale scores of patients increased (z=−2.12, p<0.05), whereas the Perceived Family Burden Scale scores of their relatives decreased (z=−3.28, p<0.05). In addition, a decrease in perceived family burden was more evident in the families of male patients (z=−2.25, p<0.05).There was no significant change in the scores for the Functional Recovery Scale in Schizophrenia and the Functioning Assessment Short Test.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The findings of this first study evaluating the I Can Ride the Storm program are thought to be promising for the development of a new psychosocial intervention as an adjuvant to the treatment of patients with schizophrenia. Simplified homework and tasks that adapt to the patients living conditions are seen as essential features of the program. It would be important to examine the effectiveness of the program with different studies that include a control group.