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Review: social skills training, supported employment programmes, and cognitive behaviour therapy improve some outcomes in schizophrenia

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QUESTION: In patients with schizophrenia, does psychosocial treatment improve symptoms?

Data sources

English language studies were identified by searching Medline and PsycInfo from 1966 to March 2000, scanning the references of identified articles, and contacting experts in the field.

Study selection

Studies were selected if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that used standardised rating instruments to assess the effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in schizophrenia. Pertinent less rigorously conducted studies were also included. The emphasis was on identifying studies that were published since the previous review in 1996.

Data extraction

Data were extracted on type of psychosocial intervention, study design, patient characteristics, duration of follow up, relapse rates, and primary and secondary outcomes.

Main results

18 studies published since the previous review were identified. 2 evaluated family therapy, 2 case management, 5 social skills training, 3 supported employment programmes, 5 cognitive behaviour …

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  • Source of funding: not stated.

  • For correspondence: Dr J R Bustillo, Department of Psychiatry, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, 2400 Tucker NE, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA. Fax +1 505 272 4639.