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September 1979

Day Treatment and Psychotropic Drugs in the Aftercare of Schizophrenic Patients: A Veterans Administration Cooperative Study

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Hospital and University of Miami School of Medicine (Dr Linn); the VA Central Office, Washington, DC (Dr Caffey); the VA Cooperative Studies Coordinating Center, Perry Point, Md (Dr Klett); the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Mr Hogarty); and the Universtiy of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles (Dr Lamb).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1979;36(10):1055-1066. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1979.01780100025002

• Schizophrenic patients referred for day treatment at the time of discharge from ten hospitals were randomly assigned to receive day treatment plus drugs or to receive drugs alone. They were tested before assignment and at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months on social functioning, symptoms, and attitudes. Community tenure and costs were also measured. The ten day centers were described on process variables every six months for the four years of the study. Some centers were found to be effective in treating chronic schizophrenic patients and others were not. All centers improved the patients' social functioning. Six of the centers were found to significantly delay relapse, reduce symptoms, and change some attitudes. Costs for patients in these centers were not significantly different from the group receiving only drugs. More professional staff hours, group therapy, and a high patient turnover treatment philosophy were associated with poor-result centers. More occupational therapy and a sustained nonthreatening environment were more characteristic of successful outcome centers.

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