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Release: April 22, 1999

Friedrich receives $20,000 to continue schizophrenia research

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Rose Marie Friedrich, associate professor in the University of Iowa College of Nursing, has received $20,000 from the Nellie Ball Trust Research Fund to continue her work on schizophrenia.

The trust, established in 1977 by Ball's estate, supports research related to paranoia and schizophrenia.

Friedrich will design educational modules to address needs that families have identified as important to providing care for ill family members. Information on schizophrenia, coping with illness behaviors, crisis information and community resources are some of the topics that will be addressed. The target group will be family members of 50 patients who are hospitalized on the schizophrenia unit at UI Hospitals and Clinics.

"The psychoeducational intervention is a means of educating and supporting families who are the primary caregivers for those with severe mental illness in Iowa," Friedrich said. "Over the past 15 years, psychoeducational interventions have been developed to reduce the stress and burden of the illness to families, to increase their coping skills and to improve the quality of life for themselves and their ill relative."

"Education, support and discharge planning for patients and their families have long been a responsibility of nurses," Friedrich added. "As nurses, we must be able to justify our interventions and to understand the effect these actions have on patient/family outcomes so we can continue to improve care."