Background: Education and support for caregivers is lacking in Asia and the peer-led FamilyLink Education Programme (FLEP) is one of the few provisions to address this service gap. This study aims to evaluate quantitatively its efficacy in reducing subjective burdens and empowering the participants. Method: One hundred and nine caregiver participants in three Asian cities were successfully surveyed at pre-intervention, post-intervention and six-month intervals with a number of standard inventories. Mixed analysis of variance (ANOVA) procedures showed significant programme impact over time intervals for all sites, and subsequently an empowerment measurement model was tested. Results: FLEP was found effective in reducing worry and displeasure, significantly improving intra-psychic strain, depression and all empowerment measures. The measurement model had an acceptable good fit. Baseline difference showed no interference with the programme efficacy. Conclusions: Apart from the initial support for FLEP, the current study also provides some hindsight on the empowerment practice in mental health for Asia, whose sociocultural political contexts are vastly different from that of the developed countries. It remains to be seen whether qualitative data or more stringent research design will yield consistent results and whether FLEP can also work in rural areas.
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