Exploring the effectiveness of family-based interventions for psychosis in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review

Hannah Morillo*, Sophie Lowry, Claire Henderson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Of the 80% people with psychosis living in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), up to 90% are left to the care of families. The World Health Organization has recommended the inclusion of families in community-based rehabilitation and while there is evidence of its implementation in LMICs, this has not been reviewed yet. This study aims to describe the key features and implementation strategies of family-based interventions in LMICs, and appraise their effectiveness. Methods: Included are people with psychosis in LMICs who receive any form of family-based intervention, compared to their usual or absence of treatment, with patient outcome measures. We searched (August 2021) through Embase, MEDLINE, Global Health, PsycInfo, Social Policy and Practice, and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), as well as from grey literature and hand-searched records. Risk of bias was assessed through the Integrated Quality Criteria for Review of Multiple Study Designs (ICROMS) and Consolidated Health Economic Evaluation Reporting Standards (CHEERS), then analyzed narratively. Results: 27 studies were included from the 5254 records. Psychotherapeutic features, systems approach and task-sharing were key intervention elements. Delivery strategies included preliminary research, sustained family engagement, and cultural adaptation. There were positive health impacts across four outcome domains. Conclusion: All studies recommended family-based interventions, with limitations in heterogeneity and 70% of them rated high risk of bias. Other: Review was registered in PROSPERO (CRD42021256856). The authors did not receive funding for this research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1749-1769
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number9
Early online date14 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


  • Community mental health
  • Complex mental health interventions
  • Family-based interventions
  • Low- and middle-income countries
  • Psychosis


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