Nurses treating potential schizophrenia patients might be less inclined to be so quick to administer anti-psychotic medicine in the future.
This comes as a study by the universities of Manchester, Glasgow, Birmingham, Cambridge and East Anglia revealed that the administration of such medicine should not be a healthcare professional’s first port of call.
This is because only one in 10 young people will go on to develop more serious mental health conditions, while psychological treatments such as Cognitive Therapy (CT) were effective in reducing the severity of psychotic experiences that can lead to conditions like schizophrenia.
The study discovered that the frequency, seriousness, and intensity of psychotic symptoms was reduced by counselling and CT. The participants were aged between 14 and 35 and were given weekly CT sessions for a maximum six-month period during the four-year study.
While previous studies concluded that between 40% and 50% of people at risk of developing psychosis at a young age would progress to a psychotic illness, only 8% of the participants who took part in the study and subsequently underwent psychological treatment developed psychotic illness.
Their findings have been published in an online edition of the British Medical Journal.
- Morrison AP, et al. Early detection and intervention evaluation for people at risk of psychosis: multisite randomised controlled trial. BMJ 2012; Advance online publication.