Author(s): Sarin F, Wallin L, Widerlv B
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Abstract BACKGROUND: In the UK and in Sweden, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) has been recommended for schizophrenia. The two recent meta-analyses examined results soon after treatment and not at follow-up. AIM: To determine the effectiveness of CBT in people with schizophrenia, both after treatment and at follow-up, and to compare it with treatment as usual (TAU) and other psychological treatments. METHODS: The search was carried in the databases CENTRAL (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), PsycINFO and PubMed (Medline). Inclusion criteria were randomized controlled trials (RCTs) with low risk of bias. Two reviewers, working independently, extracted data. The results were analyzed using risk ratio (RR), risk difference (RD), mean difference (MD), or standardized mean difference (SMD). Outcome measures were symptoms, use of medication, relapse and clinically important improvement. RESULTS: When CBT was compared with other psychological treatments at follow-up, there was strong evidence (with small treatment effect) that intervention has an effect with positive symptoms (P = 0.02), negative symptoms (P = 0.03) and general symptoms (P = 0.003). After treatment, there was a trend in favor of CBT, but not statistically significantly so. CONCLUSION: It appears that the effect of CBT is delayed; it could be seen a few months after the treatment had terminated. Therapies for patients with schizophrenia that were 20 sessions long or more had better outcomes than those that were shorter.
This article was published in Nord J Psychiatry
and referenced in International Journal of School and Cognitive Psychology