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Objective: To investigate the relationship between Expressed Emotion (EE) and working memory (WM) capacity in the caregivers of patients with psychosis, controlling for the potential confounds, namely, personality traits, subsyndromal psychotic symptoms, burden of care and the patient’s illness severity.
Materials and Methods: The study covered 152 related caregivers of psychotic patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder with a psychotic component. The study continued with 120 participants who met the recruitment criteria. Patients were assessed with a Structured Clinical Interview for Axis I Disorders (SCID-I), the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), and the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI). For related caregivers; SCID-I, Expressed Emotion Scale (EES), Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI); Magical Ideation Scale; Physical Anhedonia Scale; Social Anhedonia Scale; Zarit Caregiver Burden Scale (ZCBS), and Auditory Consonant Trigram Test (ACT) were used. A stepwise regression analysis was employed to analyze the relevant variables that had an independent impact on EES scores.
Results: There was a significant negative relationship between the ACT and EES scores (r=-.25, p<0.01). The ZCBS score (beta: 0.355, p<0.01), Harm Avoidance subscale of the TCI (beta: 0.231, p<0.01), and CGI overall improvement subscale (beta: 0.237, p<0.01) were independently associated with the EES score.
Conclusions: There have been few studies investigating the biological basis of this clinical characteristic. The present study found no significant relationship between WM and EE in terms of the effect of WM in the caregivers of patients with psychosis.
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