Fast Five Quiz: Schizophrenia Management in Adults

Stephen Soreff, MD


August 11, 2020

Cognitive impairment, a core feature of schizophrenia, is less dramatic than other symptoms of the disease (eg, hallucinations and delusions) but interferes with work, social relationships, and independent living. None of the antipsychotic medications currently available is particularly effective at addressing cognitive symptoms.

For patients with schizophrenia who cannot or will not take antipsychotic medication, cognitive therapy may be effective as a standalone treatment for schizophrenia. According to data from the first randomized trial of cognitive therapy as a standalone therapy for schizophrenia, structured treatment with a therapist significantly reduced the severity of psychiatric symptoms and improved personal and social functioning and some dimensions of delusional beliefs and voice hearing.

Cognitive therapy, also called "cognitive-behavioral therapy," focuses on changing a patient's thinking patterns. Schizophrenia at its core is a thought disorder, and cognitive therapy works with the patient's thought patterns, communication, and behavior, rather than their history, to address the disordered way of thinking.

Learn more about schizophrenia treatment and management.


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