Results are presented from a randomized controlled trial indicating which psychotic symptoms respond to cognitive behaviour therapy. The aim of the study was to investigate whether different types of psychotic symptoms are more or less responsive to cognitive-behaviour therapy compared to treatment received by control groups. Seventy-two patients suffering from chronic schizophrenia who experienced persistent positive psychotic symptoms were assessed at baseline and randomized to either cognitive-behaviour therapy and routine care, supportive counselling and routine care, or routine care alone and were re-assessed after 3 months of treatment (post-treatment). Independent and blind assessment of outcome indicated delusions significantly improved with both cognitive behaviour therapy and supportive counselling compared to routine care. Hallucinations significantly decreased with cognitive-behaviour therapy compared to supportive counselling. There was no difference in the percentage change of hallucinations compared to delusions in patients treated by cognitive behaviour therapy. There was little change in measures of affective symptoms but there was no evidence that a reduction in positive symptoms was associated with an increase in depres sion. In fact, a reduction in positive symptoms was positively correlated with a reduction in depression. There were significant differences in the reductions in thought disorder and negative symptoms with an advantage of cognitive-behaviour therapy compared to routine care.
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