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January 1978

Therapist Characteristics and the Outcome of Treatment in Schizophrenia

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md (Dr Tuma); the Health Sciences Research and Development Laboratory, Veterans Administration Hospital, Brentwood, Calif (Dr May); and the Departments of Psychiatry (Dr May) and Biomathematics and Biostatistics (Dr Forsythe) and the Health Sciences Computing Facility (Ms Yale), University of California at Los Angeles.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1978;35(1):81-85. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1978.01770250083008

• The broad task of identifying and characterizing specific components of personality and behaviors of therapists that may be differentially helpful in the treatment of schizophrenia still remains to be addressed. This report presents data systematically collected in the course of a controlled study of the outcome of five different treatment methods in schizophrenia.

Therapists seem to play a significant role in determining the outcome of the treatment of schizophrenia by drugs and by psychotherapy plus drugs. The salient therapist behaviors that seem to make a difference in outcome are yet to be identified and studied. The A-B dimension as customarily defined seems of little value for this task. The findings show a distinct need to identify cognitive and affective personality characteristics of the therapist relevant to eliciting patient cooperation, and the degree of knowledge and sophistication in the use of particular methods of treatment necessary for good results.