Home visits in the Danish High Risk and Resilience Study - VIA 7: assessment of the home environment of 508 7-year-old children born to parents diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder

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D. L. Gantriis, A. A. E. Thorup, S. Harder, A. N. Greve, M. T. Henriksen, K. K. Zahle, H. Stadsgaard, D. Ellersgaard, B. K. Burton, C. J. Christiani, K. Spang, N. Hemager, Md. J. Uddin, J. R. M. Jepsen, K. J. Plessen, M. Nordentoft, O. Mors, V. Bliksted

OBJECTIVE: The home environment provided by the caregivers of a child is an influential single factor for development and well-being. We aimed to compare the quality of the home environment of children at familial high risk of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder with population-based controls.

METHODS: Danish nationwide registers were used to retrieve a cohort of 522 7-year-old children of parents diagnosed with schizophrenia (N = 202), bipolar disorder (N = 120) or none of these diagnoses (N = 200). The home environment was assessed using the Middle Childhood-Home Observation for Measurement of the Environment Inventory (MC-HOME Inventory).

RESULTS: The proportion of children living in home environments that were evaluated not to meet the needs of a 7-year-old child was significantly larger in the two familial high-risk groups. This was true for 21% of the children with familial predisposition for schizophrenia and 7% of children with familial disposition for bipolar disorder.

CONCLUSION: Children born to parents diagnosed with schizophrenia and to a lesser extent bipolar disorder are at an increased risk of growing up in a home environment with an insufficient level of stimulation and support. Identifying families with inadequate home environments is a necessary step towards specialized help and support to at-risk families.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Psychiatrica Scandinavica
Volume140
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)126-134
Number of pages9
ISSN0001-690X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 224599609