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January 1973

Drug and Sociotherapy in the Aftercare of Schizophrenic PatientsOne-Year Relapse Rates

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1973;28(1):54-64. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1973.01750310038007

The posthospital treatment of 374 schizophrenics was controlled and evaluated for two years. Relapse rates for the first year were recorded.

At clinic intake, patients were randomly assigned to major role therapy (MRT; social casework and vocational rehabilitation counseling) and stabilized through the administration of chlorpromazine. After two months, further assignment to drug or placebo was made. Four groups were studied in each of three aftercare clinics: placebo alone; placebo and MRT; drug alone; drug and MRT.

Relapse in the placebo group is twice that of the drug group, but one half of all relapsers (drug and placebo) cease medication prior to relapse. The prophylactic action of the drug is established for many remitted schizophrenics. The MRT also lowers relapse rate significantly, but only after six months. Drug and sociotherapy effects are additive rather interactive by 12 months. Results replicate across all clinics.