Pilot study suggests that CBT may be a viable alternative to antipsychotics for people with schizophrenia, or does it?


People with schizophrenia stop taking their antipsychotics for a wide range of reasons (e.g. debilitating side effects or a belief that they will not help them), but when they do health professionals often find it extremely difficult to care for these patients, because the alternative treatment options available to them are very limited. Of course, [read the full story…]

Meta-analysis finds insufficient evidence for treatments to improve insight for people with psychosis

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Research suggests that many people with schizophrenia or related psychoses show a striking lack of insight into their condition (Dam, 2006). Poor insight can have a negative impact on several outcomes, including general adjustment (Stefanopoulou et al., 2009), quality of life (Drake et al., 2007), social functioning (Drake et al., 2007) and rehospitalisation. With this [read the full story…]

Individual CBT, with or without family CBT, could be the best first line treatment for people at high risk of schizophrenia

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Schizophrenia is a debilitating illness that affects an estimated 25 million people worldwide. People with the condition can experience a huge amount of disability (both social, physical and psychological), but we know that early intervention can help reduce the duration of the illness and prevent further episodes of relapse. People with schizophrenia usually experience a [read the full story…]

NICE publish first guideline for psychosis and schizophrenia in children and young people


Everyone who read the extracts from Michael Schofield’s memoir, published by the Guardian on January 19th, must surely have been moved by the sometimes harrowing description of his daughter Janni who was diagnosed with child-onset schizophrenia aged just 7 years old. Janni is an exception, as schizophrenia generally starts between the ages of 15 and [read the full story…]

CBT for people at ultra-high risk of psychosis: new RCT shows promise


Early intervention services for psychosis are aimed at people aged 14-35 who are experiencing a first episode of psychosis or at risk of doing so. The teams that work in this area usually include psychiatrists, psychologists, community psychiatric nurses, social workers and support workers. The NICE schizophrenia guideline recommends that early intervention services are offered [read the full story…]

Young people with psychotic symptoms should be offered CBT before antipsychotics, according to new RCT


Antipsychotic drugs are currently prescribed to a significant proportion of young people who are diagnosed with psychosis. Past research has estimated that up to half of people at risk of developing psychosis at a young age will progress to a full blown psychotic illness such as schizophrenia. A new landmark randomised controlled trial has been [read the full story…]