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Schizophrenia practice guidelines: International survey and comparison

  • Wolfgang Gaebel (a1), Stefan Weinmann (a2), Norman Sartorius (a3), Wolfgang Rutz (a4) and John S. McIntyre (a5)...

Schizophrenia guidelines differ considerably in methodology and content.


To systematically compare national schizophrenia guidelines from different countries.


An international survey was conducted on guideline development and a methodological comparison was made using a validated guideline appraisal instrument (the Appraisal Guideline Research and Evaluation Europe).


The methodological quality of many schizophrenia guidelines was at best moderate. Few guidelines had included key stakeholders in their development process. Although pharmacotherapy recommendations were similar, there were strong variations in the type of psychosocial interventions recommended.


The methodological quality of guidelines has a strong influence on their applicability However, the lack of financial means to develop and implement guidelines is a serious problem. Independent international organisations could contribute to defining a core set of unbiased schizophrenia treatment recommendations. In countries with a shortage of resources, this could be a basis for adaptation to different cultural and economic backgrounds in collaboration with stakeholders.

Corresponding author
Professor Wolfgang Gaebel, Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Bergische Landstrasse 2, D-40629 Düsseldorf, Germany. E-mail:
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Declaration of interest

WG. is one of the editors of the German schizophrenia guideline (from 1998); J. M. is the Chairman of the US Steering Committee on Practice Guidelines. Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

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Schizophrenia practice guidelines: International survey and comparison

  • Wolfgang Gaebel (a1), Stefan Weinmann (a2), Norman Sartorius (a3), Wolfgang Rutz (a4) and John S. McIntyre (a5)...
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