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Br J Psychiatry. 2006 Jul;189:36-40.

Outcomes of an effectiveness trial of cognitive-behavioural intervention by mental health nurses in schizophrenia.

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  • 1School of Neurology, Neurosciences and Psychiatry, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Richardson Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 4LP.



Little is known about the medium-term durability of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in a community sample of people with schizophrenia.


To investigate whether brief CBT produces clinically important outcomes in relation to recovery, symptom burden and readmission to hospital in people with schizophrenia at 1-year follow-up.


Participants (336 of 422 randomised at baseline) were followed up at a mean of 388 days (s.d. = 53) by raters masked to treatment allocation (CBT or usual care).


At 1-year follow-up, participants who received CBT had significantly more insight (P = 0.021) and significantly fewer negative symptoms (P = 0.002). Brief therapy protected against depression with improving insight and against relapse; significantly reduced time spent in hospital for those who did relapse and delayed time to admission. It did not improve psychotic symptoms or occupational recovery, nor have a lasting effect on overall symptoms or depression at follow-up.


Mental health nurses should be trained in brief CBT for schizophrenia to supplement case management, family interventions and expert therapy for treatment resistance.

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