Chapter

Treatment of Schizophrenia

Edited by Dwight L. Evans, Edna B. Foa, Raquel E. Gur, Herbert Hendin, Charles P. O'Brien, Martin E.P. Seligman and B. Timothy Walsh

in Treating and Preventing Adolescent Mental Health Disorders

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780195173642
Published online August 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199951024 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/9780195173642.003.0007

Series: Adolescent Mental Health Initiative

 Treatment of Schizophrenia

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Interest in psychological treatments for schizophrenia has increased in recent years, particularly in Europe and Australia, driven by understandable patient dissatisfaction with purely pharmacological approaches. The recognition that 40% of patients do not achieve symptom resolution with drug treatment has added impetus to the search for alternatives and adjuncts. Unfortunately, the paucity of data concerning the application of such approaches to adolescents suffering from schizophrenia means that, at least for the time being, inferences have to be drawn mainly from studies of adult populations. Nevertheless, the similar lack of data regarding efficacy and safety of antipsychotic drug treatment in adolescents and the observation that adolescents may be especially sensitive to the adverse effects of typical antipsychotics (e.g., extrapyramidal side effects) and clozapine (e.g., neutropenia and seizures) mean that there is a real need for alternative or supplementary interventions. Indeed, one could hypothesize that psychological treatments might be more effective in adolescents than in adults. This is a group with a greater degree of neural plasticity and a still evolving personality, and who are especially likely to have an ongoing system of support in the form of family and educational input. Furthermore, the latter presents opportunities for early detection. Alongside early treatment with antipsychotics, there is potential for psychotherapeutic interventions to lessen the impact of positive symptoms, improve coping strategies, and potentially to reduce the cognitive deficits, which so impair psychosocial function.

Chapter.  11837 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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