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J Psychiatr Res. 2013 Dec;47(12):1886-92. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2013.09.006. Epub 2013 Sep 19.

The beneficial effects of combining pharmacological and psychosocial treatment on remission and functional outcome in outpatients with schizophrenia.

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Division of Epidemiological and Psychosocial Research, National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente, Mexico City, Mexico. Electronic address:



The effects of pharmacological and psychosocial treatment on remission and the functional outcome in outpatients with schizophrenia were evaluated. Remission was assessed according to the criteria proposed by the Remission in Schizophrenia Working group and psychosocial functioning according to the Global Assessment of Functioning with a score > 60. Functional outcome was the result of these two variables.


One hundred fifty two patients were randomized to receive either, antipsychotic treatment as usual (TAU) or social skills training and family psychoeducation in addition to TAU. A final sample of 119 patients: n = 68 in the social skills training group, and n = 51 in the TAU group completed the study protocol. Patients were assessed at baseline and at 6-month follow-up.


At the end of the study, 80% of the patients fulfilled the criteria for symptomatic remission: 62 patients (91.2%) in the social skills training group in contrast to 34 patients (66.7%) in the TAU group. Functional improvement criteria were accomplished by 41 patients (34.5%) at the endpoint of the study. Forty of these patients (58.8%) belonged to social skills training and one patient to customary treatment (χ(2) = 41.7, df 1, p < 0.001) and when criteria for symptomatic remission and functional improvement were combined, 39 patients (97.5%) of the social skills training group and one patient (1.9%) of the customary treatment group achieved functional outcome.


The results emphasize the need for psychosocial interventions as conjoint to pharmacological treatment to improve functional outcome in schizophrenia patients.


Functional outcome; Pharmacotherapy; Psychosocial treatment; Remission; Schizophrenia

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