Examining Gender Differences in Family Involvement in Treatment for Early Psychosis

Jacqueline Dow, MPH

McLean Hospital – Research Assistant
Dow_Jacqueline poster

Scientific Abstract

BACKGROUND: Involving families in treatment can improve client outcomes in early psychosis care. However, the relationship between gender and family involvement in early psychosis treatment remains unclear. The aim of this secondary data analysis was to examine gender differences in involving family members in treatment among people with early psychosis from the McLean OnTrack clinic and the national Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode (RAISE) NAVIGATE (NAV) treatment and standard Community Care (CC) groups. Given that greater difficulty in functioning is associated with more family involvement, and men with psychosis on average have lower functioning than women, we hypothesized that men would be more likely to report family involvement.

METHODS: Outpatients in OnTrack (n=37: n=15 women, n=22 men, n=2 non-binary *not analyzed), NAV (n=223: n=50 women, n=173 men), CC (n=181: n=61 women, n=120 men) reported their demographics, level of family involvement in treatment, and completed functioning and symptom assessments. Chi-square tests examined gender differences in family involvement. Hierarchical regression models assessed gender effects relative to age, functioning, and symptom severity.

RESULTS: In OnTrack, men had more family involvement (p=0.031) and lower social functioning (p=0.003) than women, but not in RAISE (p>0.05). However, the effect of gender was not significant when controlling for age, functioning, and symptom severity in either sample.

CONCLUSION: OnTrack but not RAISE had gender differences in family involvement, which may be due to inclusion of affective psychosis in OnTrack, and the clinical trial nature of RAISE may attract a different population. In OnTrack, men’s greater family involvement may be due to their lower functioning than women. Further research is needed to clarify how gender interacts with other variables predicting family involvement in early psychosis treatment, and how it changes over time.

Live Zoom Session – March 9th

research Areas


Jacqueline Dow, MPH, Peter T. Durning, Emily E. Carol, PhD, Dost Öngür, MD, PhD, Kim T. Mueser, PhD, Julie M. McCarthy, PhD

Principal Investigator

Julie McCarthy, PhD