Talking therapy ‘little help’ for schizophrenics

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A type of talking therapy which is offered to all patients with schizophrenia has “little impact” on the symptoms of the illness, researchers have concluded.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (Nice) recommends that cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) should be offered to all patients with the disorder. But a new study has found that the psychotherapy only has a “small therapeutic effect”. The team of researchers questioned whether or not the therapy should continue to recommended to help people with the condition.

Their paper, published online in the British Journal of Psychiatry, cited analysis of 50 studies on the subject and said: “Given that we, and others including Nice, have found evidence for only small effects on overall symptoms, plus the fact that a large, methodologically rigorous 2008 trial failed to demonstrate any effectiveness against relapse, the UK Government’s continued vigorous advocacy of this form of treatment might be considered puzzling.”