Families of persons with mental illness (PMIs) are considered important resources for PMIs rather than as contributors to their mental illness. However, these families experience not only the burden of caregiving but also social stigma and discrimination in various aspects of their lives, and their psychosocial needs tend to be overlooked. This was a pilot study to explore the effects of a brief empowerment program on the empowerment and quality of life of families of PMIs in South Korea. A repeated-measures design with a control group and pre/post-follow-up testing was used. We enrolled 18 participants (experimental group = 9, control group = 9). The experimental group participated in an empowerment program consisting of four sessions over 4 weeks. Data were collected before and after the program, and again 4 weeks later. The chi(2)-test, Fisher's exact probability test, t-test, and repeated-measures analysis of covariance were used, as appropriate, to analyze data. The program significantly increased empowerment (F = 4.66, p = .020) and quality of life (F = 5.83, p = .009) among participants in the experimental group over time. Its therapeutic features, such as sharing their experiences, discussion, and presentations, can be applied to create effective psychosocial interventions for families of PMIs.
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