(HealthDay News) — For patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorder who have chosen not to take antipsychotic drugs, cognitive therapy is effective for reducing psychiatric symptoms, according to a study published online February 6 in The Lancet.
Anthony P. Morrison, DClinPsy, from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial at two U.K. centers involving 74 individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who had chosen not to take antipsychotic drugs for psychosis. Participants, aged 16–65 years, were randomized in a 1:1 ratio to receive cognitive therapy plus treatment-as-usual or treatment-as-usual alone.
The researchers found that the mean total scores on the positive and negative syndrome scale were consistently lower for those in the cognitive therapy group, with an estimated effect size of −6.52 compared with the treatment-as-usual group (P=0.003). Eight serious adverse events were recorded: two in patients in the cognitive therapy group and six in patients in the treatment-as-usual group.
“Cognitive therapy significantly reduced psychiatric symptoms and seems to be a safe and acceptable alternative for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders who have chosen not to take antipsychotic drugs,” the authors write. “Evidence-based treatments should be available to these individuals. A larger, definitive trial is needed.”
Several authors disclosed receiving royalties from published texts or books or fees for delivering workshops related to cognitive therapy. One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.