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July 1981

Schizophrenia: A Follow-up Study of the Results of Five Forms of Treatment

Author Affiliations

From the Veterans Administration Medical Center, Brentwood, Calif (Drs May and Dixon); the Neuropsychiatric Institute (Dr May), Department of Biomathematics (Dr Dixon), and Health Sciences Consulting Clinic (Ms Yale), Center for the Health Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles; and the Clinical Research Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration, Rockville, Md (Dr Tuma). Drs Thiele and Kraude are in private practice in Beverly Hills, Calif, and Redondo Beach, Calif, respectively.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1981;38(7):776-784. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1981.01780320056006

• Two hundred twenty-eight first-admission schizophrenic patients were randomly assigned to the following five treatments: psychotherapy alone, drug alone, psychotherapy plus drug, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), and milieu. A three- to five-year follow-up examined their course after release from the hospital. The drug alone and ECT groups tended to have the best outcome and the psychotherapy alone group the worst. The positive effect from prior drug treatment began to dissipate after three years postadmission. For the in-hospital treatment successes, the advantage from drug treatment and the disadvantage from psychotherapy were less apparent. Overall, the follow-up outcome is far from reassuring, whatever the type of treatment. Even though a few patients may do well, much remains to be done in and out of the hospital.

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