A cross-cultural study on expressed emotion in carers of people with dementia and schizophrenia: Japan and England

Hiroko Nomura, Shimpei Inoue, Naoto Kamimura, Shinji Shimodera, Yoshio Mino, Lynsey Gregg, Nicholas Tarrier

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    Expressed emotion (EE) research has been productive in investigating the influence of the interpersonal environment on a range of disorders. The majority of EE research on the influence of carers has been carried out in the west. This is the first EE study of the carers of people with dementia in Japan. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationships between EE status and aspect of burden through cross-cultural comparison of the two countries, Japan and England, with large cultural and linguistic differences. Comparisons were made between samples of EE of carers of dementia and schizophrenic patients. In total, data on 80 carer/relative-patient dyads were collected and examined: (1) 20 Japanese carers of people with dementia (JD), (2) 20 English carers of patients with Alzheimer's disease (ED), (3) 20 Japanese relatives of patients with schizophrenia (JS), and (4) 20 English relatives of patients with schizophrenia (ES). The Camberwell Family Interview was administered in each country to ascertain levels of EE. Large differences between Japan and England were found in the frequency of critical comments, in which ES>ED>JS>JD. EE correlated significantly with burden in the JD sample alone. With an operational cut-off of 2CC (CC, critical comments), EE correlated significantly with cognitive impairment as well as with clinical severity in the JD sample. There was a tendency for lower expression of both positive and negative emotional reactions towards family members in the Japanese sample. The results of this study indicate that EE is an appropriate measure for use with carers of sufferers of dementia and can be utilized across different cultures. However, flexibility with the cut-offs may be required in Eastern cultures. This needs to be tested on larger samples with sensitivity to illness and cross-cultural differences. © Springer-Verlag 2005.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)564-570
    Number of pages6
    JournalSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2005


    • Carer burden
    • Cross-cultural difference
    • Dementia
    • England
    • Expressed emotion
    • Intervention
    • Japan
    • Schizophrenia


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