Characteristics of Family Functioning in Patients with Endogenous Monopolar Depression
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The purpose of the study was to investigate dysfunctions in families with a member suffering from endogenous monopolar depression during the acute phase by means of a case-control study, and to consider the possibilities of psychiatric intervention for families with a patient in the course of monopolar depression. Twenty patients with monopolar depression during the acute phase and family members living in the same household (Depressive families) were compared with twenty-seven non-clinical college students and their family members (Control families) with regard to family functioning assessed by the Family Assessment Device (FAD). Depressive families reported significantly worse family functioning than Control families, especially in three areas: Problem Solving, Communication, and General Functioning. Members of Depressive families also perceived their family functioning to be significantly poorer than that of Control families, in the areas of Problem Solving, Communication, Roles, Affective Responsiveness, Affective Involvement and General Functioning, which yielded the same result as a comparison between depressive couples and control couples. The pattern of family dysfunction that was found in the present study, especially in the three areas of family functioning, Problem Solving, Communication, and General Functioning, emphasizes the importance of appropriate family intervention to improve the family's competence in problem solving and to promote better communication in the family during the acute phase of endogenous monopolar depression. Additionally such family dysfunction has been similarly observed in North American studies, indicating that diverse problems emerge beyond differences in the cultural background of families containing a patient with endogenous monopolar depression.
Hiroshima Journal of Medical Sciences
Hiroshima University Medical Press