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March 28, 1966

Drug and Social Therapy in Chronic Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

Newtown, Conn

JAMA. 1966;195(13):1159. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100130133048

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This slim, multiauthored volume reports the results of a study, conducted over six years, on the effects of tranquilizing drugs and social environment on chronic schizophrenic patients. The study included 115 individuals, half of whom remained at their parent state hospitals, where they had been institutionalized for five to ten years, while the remainder went to the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. Half of each group, in turn, received tranquilizers.

After six months there was significantly greater improvement in patients who received tranquilizers, irrespective of the hospital setting. After 18 months, however, results were definitely superior in those who had been transferred originally to the "active treatment" center.

One of the major conclusions of the study is that chronic schizophrenic patients do have some potential for improvement. This potential is enhanced by the administration of drugs. Of course, one of the key factors here is the definition of chronic schizophrenia. The

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