Cognitive therapy may do just fine for schizophrenia

For individuals with schizophrenia who don't want to take antipsychotic drugs, cognitive therapy can be a safe and effective treatment option, a new study reveals.

Researchers from the University of Manchester showed that this type of approach can be a viable alternative for people that discontinue or refuse to take medication. And cognitive therapy alone can reduce psychiatric symptoms, the authors reported in The Lancet.

The study

A total of 74 patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder (adults aged 16-55) were chosen for the study, and all participants were not taking antipsychotic drugs for psychosis symptoms. The patients were randomly assigned either cognitive therapy plus treatment as usual, or just treatment as usual.

At the end of the study, the team found that cognitive therapy could significantly reduce psychotic symptoms without pairing the treatment with medication.

"Our evidence suggests cognitive treatments do benefit patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who have chosen not to take antipsychotic drugs but a larger, definitive trial is now needed," said study author Anthony Morrison.

The researchers will soon begin a study that compares the effects of cognitive therapy plus medication against cognitive therapy alone.

Source: Manchester University

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