Objective – To describe a preliminary evaluation of a group CBT approach which has been fully integrated into the routine care for acute psychotic inpatients, admitted to a typically overburdened inner-city psychiatric general hospital unit. Design – The design is pre-post. A comparison of some indicators between the years preceding (1997) and following the beginning of the group therapy (1998) has been carried out. Setting – Psychiatric ward of S. Filippo Neri in Rome, in 1998. Method – The study compared the rate of rehospitalization, the rate of compulsory admission, the use of physical restraints, the episodes of violent behaviour and the escape from the ward. During the last three months of 1998 patients' satisfaction was also measured. Results – Overall 385 patients attended the group therapy, 79% of all inpatients in the period, with an average number of 4 sessions per patient. 59% of participants in the group in 1998 had a diagnosis of schizophrenia or paranoid disorder. The total compulsory admissions declined by 1/3 (p>0.001), the «revolving door» patients declined by 1/3 (p<0.05), compulsory admissions in «revolving door» patients declined by 3/4 (p<0.005), violent episodes by almost half (p<0.001), physical restraints and patients escape from the ward almost disappeared. Patients' opinion about the participation to the group was excellent. Conclusions – It is likely, but not sure, that the improvements were directly attributable to the introduction of the group treatment. Moreover, the group was clearly found to be useful by the majority of the participants. Some asked for further help of this type on discharge. These preliminary results are promising and make us confident they will act as stimuli for other colleagues to implement and evaluate this approach in other settings.