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The Family Questionnaire (FQ): a scale for measuring symptom appraisal in relatives of schizophrenic patients

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Quinn J, Barrowclough C, Tarrier N. The Family Questionnaire (FQ): a scale for measuring symptom appraisal in relatives of schizophrenic patients.

Acta Psychiatr Scand 2003: 108: 290–296. © Blackwell Munksgaard 2003. Objective:

This study examined the psychometric properties of the Family Questionnaire (FQ): a self-report measure of relatives’ perceptions of the behaviours and symptoms of schizophrenic patients in terms of three dimensions: the frequency of symptoms, the relatives’ concern (primary appraisal) and their ability to cope (secondary appraisal) with the symptoms. Method:

Factor analysis of the FQ, test–retest and inter-rater reliability, and measures of validity were examined. Results:

Factor analysis supported the validity of five subscales labelled negative symptoms, antisocial behaviours, interpersonal problems, affective symptoms and psychotic symptoms. Test–retest reliability for all scales was good and the prediction that there would be limited correspondence between two different relatives’ scores was supported for the subscales of negative symptoms and affective symptoms. Concurrent measures of relatives’ distress, burden and patients’ symptomatology indicated that the FQ showed acceptable validity. In particular, the study showed that high expressed emotion relatives have higher scores on the appraisal dimensions of some subscales. Conclusion:

The study provides evidence that the FQ is a useful tool for measuring relatives’ perceptions of schizophrenic illness, particularly within the context of family interventions where it may be utilized to help to understand the factors mediating relatives’ burden and distress.

Keywords: appraisal; burden; distress; families; questionnaires; schizophrenia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Tameside and Glossop Community and Priority NHS Trust, Tameside General Hospital, Ashton-under-Lyne, UK and 2: Academic Division of Clinical Psychology, School of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Publication date: 2003-10-01

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