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Schizophrenia

A mental disorder often characterized by abnormal social behavior and failure to recognize what is real. Common symptoms include false beliefs, unclear or confused thinking, and reduced social engagement and emotional expression.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: Wikipedia)

About Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a chronic, severe, and disabling brain disorder that has affected people throughout history.

People with the disorder may hear voices other people don't hear. They may believe other people are reading their minds, controlling their thoughts, or plotting to harm them. This can terrify people with the illness and make them withdrawn or extremely agitated.

People with schizophrenia may not make sense when they talk. They may sit for hours without moving or talking. Sometimes people with schizophrenia seem perfectly fine until they talk about what they are really thinking.

Families and society are affected by schizophrenia too. Many people with schizophrenia have difficulty holding a job or caring for themselves....Read more about Schizophrenia NIH - National Institute of Mental Health

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Drama therapy for schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses

Drama therapy is one of the creative therapies suggested to be of value as an adjunctive treatment for people with schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses. Randomised studies have been successfully conducted in this area but poor study reporting meant that no conclusions could be drawn from them. The benefits or harms of the use of drama therapy in schizophrenia are therefore unclear and further large, high quality studies are required to determine the true value of drama therapy for schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses.

Art therapy for schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses

Most people with schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses will be treated with medication, although on average, 5‐15% will continue to experience symptoms in spite of this. This review explores whether art therapy, one of a number of creative therapies, could be beneficial when used in addition to medication. The British Association of Art Therapists definition of Art Therapy is "the use of art materials for self‐expression and reflection in the presence of a trained art therapist. Clients who are referred to art therapy need not have previous experience or skill in art, the art therapist is not primarily concerned with making an aesthetic or diagnostic assessment of the client's image. The overall aim of its practitioners is to enable a client to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials in a safe and facilitating environment." It has proved to be difficult to estimate how widely this intervention is available. However, there are descriptions of its use with people with schizophrenia, individually and in groups, in inpatient and outpatient settings as well as in the private sector.

Monetary incentives for schizophrenia

Money incentivises many. It has been used in experiments to promote various behaviours in people with schizophrenia. We found six trials, but only one compared monetary incentives to no incentives which was the focus of this particular review. This one, very small, study was undertaken in the early 1960s with people who had been in hospital for an average of two decades. It found no clear effect but little can be concluded from this outdated trial except that such studies are possible. We think more studies relevant to current circumstances are desirable.

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Summaries for consumers

Drama therapy for schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses

Drama therapy is one of the creative therapies suggested to be of value as an adjunctive treatment for people with schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses. Randomised studies have been successfully conducted in this area but poor study reporting meant that no conclusions could be drawn from them. The benefits or harms of the use of drama therapy in schizophrenia are therefore unclear and further large, high quality studies are required to determine the true value of drama therapy for schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses.

Art therapy for schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses

Most people with schizophrenia or schizophrenia‐like illnesses will be treated with medication, although on average, 5‐15% will continue to experience symptoms in spite of this. This review explores whether art therapy, one of a number of creative therapies, could be beneficial when used in addition to medication. The British Association of Art Therapists definition of Art Therapy is "the use of art materials for self‐expression and reflection in the presence of a trained art therapist. Clients who are referred to art therapy need not have previous experience or skill in art, the art therapist is not primarily concerned with making an aesthetic or diagnostic assessment of the client's image. The overall aim of its practitioners is to enable a client to effect change and growth on a personal level through the use of art materials in a safe and facilitating environment." It has proved to be difficult to estimate how widely this intervention is available. However, there are descriptions of its use with people with schizophrenia, individually and in groups, in inpatient and outpatient settings as well as in the private sector.

Monetary incentives for schizophrenia

Money incentivises many. It has been used in experiments to promote various behaviours in people with schizophrenia. We found six trials, but only one compared monetary incentives to no incentives which was the focus of this particular review. This one, very small, study was undertaken in the early 1960s with people who had been in hospital for an average of two decades. It found no clear effect but little can be concluded from this outdated trial except that such studies are possible. We think more studies relevant to current circumstances are desirable.

See all (226)

More about Schizophrenia

Photo of a young adult

Also called: Schizophrenic

Other terms to know:
Hallucinations, Paranoia, Psychosis

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