Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Study Finds CBT Effective Adjunct for Medication-Resistant Psychosis

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can confer benefits above and beyond the effects of medication for patients who exhibit symptoms of medication-resistant psychosis, according to the study, “Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Medication-Resistant Psychosis: A Meta-Analytic Review,” published online today in Psychiatric Services in Advance.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia and the Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, British Columbia, conducted systematic searches of studies in the Cochrane Collaborative Register of Trials, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and PubMed examining CBT’s effectiveness in outpatients with medication-resistant psychosis, both on completion of treatment and at follow-up evaluations. Sixteen published studies describing 12 randomized controlled trials were used as source data for the meta-analysis. The trials included 639 individuals, 552 of whom completed the post-treatment assessment. Overall beneficial effects of CBT were found at post-treatment evaluations for positive symptoms and for general symptoms. These effects were maintained at follow-up.

“The evidence to date supports the assertion that CBT is effective in the management of persistent positive and general symptoms in medication-resistant psychosis,” the researchers said. “This review suggests that patients with medication-resistant positive symptoms may derive more benefit from an adjunctive psychotherapy, such as CBT, than from adjunctive medications.”

For more on the use of CBT in treatment of severe psychiatric illness, see the Psychiatric News article, "Form of CBT Can Improve Stubborn Psychosis Symptoms."

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