The Effect of a Culturally Informed Therapy on Self-Conscious Emotions and Burden in Caregivers of Patients With Schizophrenia: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Amy G Weisman, Giulia Suro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


Objective: Caring for a family member with schizophrenia often results in high degrees of self-conscious emotions (shame and guilt/self-blame), burden, and other serious mental health consequences. Research suggests that ethnic and cultural factors strongly influence the manner in which family members respond to mental illness. Research further indicates that certain cultural practices and values (spirituality, collectivism) may assist family members in coping with the self-conscious emotions and burden associated with caregiving. With this in mind, the authors have developed a family-focused, culturally informed treatment for schizophrenia (CIT-S). Method: Using a sample of 113 caregivers of patients with schizophrenia (60% Hispanic, 28.2% Caucasian, 8% African American, and 3.8% other), the authors assessed the ability of CIT-S to reduce self-conscious emotions and caregiver burden above and beyond a 3-session psychoeducation (PSY-ED) control condition. They further examined whether self-conscious emotions mediated the relationship between treatment type and caregiver burden. Results: In line with expectations, CIT-S was found to outperform PSY-ED in reducing guilt/self-blame and caregiver burden. Furthermore, consistent with hypotheses, reductions in guilt/self-blame were found to mediate the changes observed between treatment type and caregiver burden. Although caregivers in both treatment groups demonstrated significant posttreatment reductions in shame, CIT-S was not found to outperform PSY-ED in reducing levels of this construct. Conclusions: Results suggest that caregivers of patients with schizophrenia may respond well to a treatment that specifically taps in to their cultural beliefs, values, and behaviors in helping them cope with schizophrenia in a loved one. Study implications and future directions are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 14 2015



  • Caregiver burden
  • Cultural interventions
  • Family therapy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Self-conscious emotions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

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