Pathways of recovery: preventing further episodes of mental illness (monograph)

Broad-based psycho-education programs

Page last updated: 2006

It is a commonly held belief that greater knowledge empowers people to make better decisions regarding many behavioural choices, including those affecting their health. Broad-based psycho-education programs provide people with information about their mental illness, generally focusing on symptoms, stress-vulnerability, and treatment options. In a review of the outcomes of four randomised controlled trails of broad-based psycho-education programs, Mueser et al (2002) reported that while these increase people's knowledge about mental illness, they do not impact on other outcomes. This is a finding that is consistent with other health applications of psycho-education programs: improving knowledge does not automatically lead to changes in behaviour (see Whitehead & Russell 2004).