Schizophrenia: 1979???2009Author(s): Mary V. Seeman
Background: As more becomes known about the complex causation of schizophrenia, the variability of treatment response, and the effectiveness of preventive measures, treatments are likely to change. Methods: A standard regimen from a review article written in 1979 is examined and compared to currently recommended practice, thirty years later. Results: Over this period, there have been many small changes and some very significant improvements: attitudes toward families of patients have altered; patient autonomy has increased; early intervention, assertive community treatment teams, psychoeducation, and cognitive behavioral therapy have all been introduced in the last thirty years. Recovery (defined variously, but with a focus on counteracting disability and enhancing self-determination in the face of stigma), rather than symptom reduction, has become the main aim of treatment. Conclusions: Despite many changes, the overall health of patients with schizophrenia is poor and mortality rates are excessive. Improvement in the treatment of schizophrenia over the last thirty years is insufficient.