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Actas Esp Psiquiatr. 2016 May;44(3):97-106. Epub 2016 May 1.

Is it possible to achieve functional recovery in schizophrenia? A qualitative and quantitative analysis of psychiatrist´s opinion.

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Department of Medicine and Medical Specialties. School of Medicine. University of Alcala. IRyCIS. CIBERSAM. Madrid.
Mental Health Center Fuente San Luis. Doctor Peset University Hospital. Valencia.
Community Mental Health Unit of the Virgen del Rocio University Hospital, Seville.
Actur South Center Mental Health. Hospital Royo Villanova. Zaragoza.
Refractory Psychosis Unit. Psychiatric Hospital of Alava. Vitoria.
Institut Universitari d’Investigacio in Ciencies de la Salut (IUNIS) Rediapp. Juan March Hospital. University of the Balearic Islands. Palma de Mallorca.



Psychiatrist´s opinion on functional recovery (FR) of patients with schizophrenia may modulate the therapeutic expectations and how to manage the disease.


This study aims to know the opinion of psychiatrists on FR, and to analyze the relationship between functioning and symptoms.


A qualitative and quantitative, descriptive and exploratory study. Two data collection techniques were used: a) a written survey consisting of 12 questions, directly, anonymously and confidentially answered by 132 psychiatrists; b) 5 focus group discussions involving 42 psychiatrists.


69.8% of psychiatrists considered realistic to get FR in schizophrenia and another 30.1% chose an intermediate response. The clinical priority for the 94% is to optimize the functional outcome of their patients, but only 14.4% commonly use rating scales. 91.7 % believed that there are differences between typical and atypical antipsychotics in terms of FR, and 83.3% believed essential to implement psychosocial interventions to achieve this goal. According to psychiatrists, FR is a complex concept and a primary therapeutic goal. Negative and cognitive symptoms are the strongest predictors of poor functioning. The low functioning of a patient, even in symptomatic stability, usually requires a re-evaluation of treatment.


For psychiatrists, FR is a useful concept and a clinical priority, although there are doubts about how to achieve it.

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