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Support management in schizophrenia: a systematic review of current literature

Authors Pompili M, Montebovi, Forte, Palermo, Stefani, Telesforo, Campi, Giordano, Longo, Lamis D, Serafini G, Girardi P

Received 6 May 2012

Accepted for publication 25 October 2012

Published 17 December 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 79—101

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PI.S18809

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3


Maurizio Pompili,1 Franco Montebovi,1 Alberto Forte,1 Mario Palermo,1 Henry Stefani,1 Ludovica Telesforo,1 Sandra Campi,1 Gloria Giordano,1 Lucia Longo,1 Dorian A Lamis,2 Gianluca Serafini,1 Paolo Girardi1

1Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Functions, Suicide Prevention Center, Sant’Andrea Hospital, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; 2Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, USA

Background: Schizophrenia is generally considered a chronic disorder characterized by psychotic symptoms and relatively stable neurocognitive and interpersonal deficits. Antipsychotic medication has proven beneficial in reducing psychotic symptoms, but is often not enough to treat cognitive or functional impairments. Residual cognitive impairments are barriers to a patient’s full recovery from schizophrenia. Rehabilitation is an alternative and important approach which may be useful, and encompasses a variety of treatments including social skills training and psychoeducational and cognitive behavioral treatments.
Objective: To investigate the efficacy of psychosocial treatments in schizophrenia, evaluating its effects in the short and long term, comparing psychosocial treatments with pharmacotherapy, and assessing the effects of treatment and the main indications for use in patients with schizophrenia.
Methods: A careful MEDLINE®, Excerpta Medica, PsycLIT®, PsycINFO®, and Index Medicus search was performed to identify all papers and book chapters in English for the period 1970–2012.
Results: Findings from the studies included in this qualitative analysis suggest that social skills therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, family intervention therapy, cognitive remediation therapy, and other nonpharmacological therapeutic strategies may be beneficial for patients with significant functional and symptomatic impairments.
Conclusion: Schizophrenic patients treated with nonpharmacological techniques have more rapid remission and relapse less frequently than patients treated only pharmacologically.

Keywords: schizophrenia, support management, nonpharmacological treatment, cognitive behavioral therapy

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