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Cognitive-behavioural therapy in first-episode and early schizophrenia - 18-month follow-up of a randomised controlled trial

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Author(s)

  • N Tarrier
  • S Lewis
  • G Haddock
  • R Bentall
  • R Drake
  • P Kinderman
  • D Kingdon
  • R Siddle
  • J Everitt
  • K Leadley
  • A Benn
  • K Grazebrook
  • C Haley
  • S Akhtar
  • L Davies
  • S Palmer
  • G Dunn

Department/unit(s)

Publication details

JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
DatePublished - Mar 2004
Volume184
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)231-239
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Background The initial phase of a trial of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) for acutely ill patients with schizophrenia of recent onset showed that it speeded recovery.

Aims To test the hypothesis that CBT in addition to treatment as usual (TAU) during the first or second acute episode of schizophrenia will confer clinical benefit over a follow-up period.

Method This was an 18-month follow-up of a multicentre prospective trial of CBT or supportive counselling administered as an adjunct to TAU, compared with TAU alone, for patients hospitalised for an acute episode of schizophrenia of recent onset. Primary outcomes were total and positive symptom scales, time to relapse and re-hospitalisation.

Results There were significant advantages for CBT and supportive counselling over TAU alone on symptom measures at 18 months but no group difference was seen for relapse or re-hospitalisation. There was a significant centre-treatment interaction, reflecting centre differences in the effect of introducing either treatment, but not in the comparison of CBT and supportive counselling. Medication dosage and compliance did not explain group differences.

Conclusions Adjunctive psychological treatments can have a beneficial long-term effect on symptom reduction.

Declaration of interest None.

    Research areas

  • FAMILY INTERVENTION, ACUTE-PSYCHOSIS, SCHIZOAFFECTIVE DISORDER, PERSISTENT SYMPTOMS, 1ST EPISODE, RELAPSE, METAANALYSIS, RECOVERY, PREDICTORS, IMPACT

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