Early Intervention Shows Promise in Treating Schizophrenia

News Picture: Early Intervention Shows Promise in Treating Schizophrenia

WEDNESDAY, July 8, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Interventions that include resiliency training, education and job support may boost the mental health of patients in the early stages of schizophrenia, new research reveals.

The finding, reported in the July issue of Psychiatric Services, followed an assessment of several specialty care programs, including some funded through a U.S. National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) initiative known as RAISE (Recovery After an Initial Schizophrenia Episode). The comprehensive treatment programs also include family education and goal-setting.

Investigators found that patients who completed RAISE fared better both socially and on the job. They also showed fewer symptoms and were less likely to relapse.

Clinicians credit the program's emphasis on shared decision-making as key to its success, along with a respectful, flexible and warm attitude toward patients by the RAISE staff.

"Now that we know which programs are most effective, we can begin to offer these services across the United States," study author Amy Goldstein, associate director for prevention at NIMH, said in an institute news release. "This research will help us give hope and support to people with schizophrenia and their families."

About 1 percent of Americans suffer from the severe brain disorder during their lives, according to NIMH. People with schizophrenia may hear voices, or fear other people are controlling their thoughts or plotting to harm them.

--Alan Mozes

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SOURCE: American Psychiatric Association, news release, July 1, 2015