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Jpn J Nurs Sci. 2013 Jun;10(1):136-41. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7924.2012.00211.x. Epub 2012 Apr 27.

Occupational therapy for inpatients with chronic schizophrenia: a pilot randomized controlled trial.

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Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Rahmatieh, Shahrekord, Iran.



People with schizophrenia tend to experience difficulties in social and cognitive function, self-care, residual negative symptoms, high rates of unemployment, and social exclusion. Occupational therapy has contributed to the treatment and rehabilitation of people with severe mental health problems. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of occupational therapy on symptoms of patients with schizophrenia.


This survey was an experimental study in which positive and negative symptoms of patients with schizophrenia were assessed with a scale for the assessment of positive and negative symptoms (SANS, SAPS, respectively). The study was conducted in Sina Hospital, Shahrekord, Iran. The samples consisted of patients with schizophrenia who were divided randomly into intervention and usual treatment groups (30 patients in each group). The occupational therapy was performed in the intervention group for 18 h/week for 6 months. SANS and SAPS were assessed at the beginning and after 6 months of treatment.


The groups were homogeneous in demographic variables, SANS and SAPS scores at baseline. The occupational therapy group showed significant improvement in the total score for the SANS and SAPS at 6 months (P<0.001), but the control group did not show any significant improvement.


The results of this study indicated that occupational therapy combined with medications can improve the symptoms of schizophrenia.

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