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Br J Psychiatry. 2000 Aug;177:101-6.

Cognitive-behavioural techniques for general psychiatrists in the management of patients with psychoses.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne.



Recent research progress showing the benefits of cognitive therapy in schizophrenia leaves the general psychiatrist unsure whether to attempt to use such techniques.


To test whether cognitive-behavioural techniques are beneficial in the management of patients with schizophrenia in general psychiatric practice.


A randomised controlled study comparing the use of cognitive-behavioural techniques and befriending in schizophrenia.


Significant improvement in symptoms occurred in the group treated with cognitive-behavioural techniques but not in the befriending group. During the 6-month follow-up period the cognitive-behavioural group tended to have shorter periods in hospital.


General psychiatrists could help their patients with schizophrenia by using cognitive-behavioural techniques. Such techniques are well within the capability of general psychiatrists, but their application would involve more of the consultant's time spent in direct contact with patients with psychoses.

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