March 02, 2006

Are Psych. Doctors Talking to Patients Enough?

A well-known psychiatrist/researcher in New Mexico (Dr. Samuel Keith) has written a good editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry about cognitive behavior therapy and its potential for an increased role in the USA (but at the same time encourages people to be skeptical of unrealistic expectations). The editorial is written for other psychiatrists - but the topic is relevant to anyone involved in mental healthcare.

Following is a brief excerpt from the editorial. If you find it of interest, we encourage you to read the entire article at the link below.

Are We Still Talking to Our Patients With Schizophrenia?

I hope so. Is there a science to how to make the most of our interactions with our patients? Probably. Does our enthusiasm sometimes outstrip our data? More frequently than we would care to admit—we are human, after all.

Cognitive behavior therapy for depression has been, perhaps, the most successful psychosocial treatment ever introduced. It has been the subject of dozens of clinical trials and multiple collaborative studies and is the intervention most likely to be taught in psychiatric training programs. Why, then, if the authors of this month’s article on cognitive behavior therapy for schizophrenia (Turkington et al.) are correct, has there been such a low level of interest in the United States in making cognitive behavior therapy a first-line intervention in schizophrenia? ....

To turn a phrase from another English author whose ideas have found considerable acceptance in the United States: I come not to bury cognitive behavior therapy, but to praise it. Cognitive behavior therapy is a promising treatment, but in our need to find new, better treatments for schizophrenia, let us avoid overpromising. Still to be more fully developed are issues of which patients, at which stage of illness, for how long, with what essential components, seen by therapists with what training, and at what costs demand to be answered. Our patients can look forward to the future explication (explaining) of cognitive behavior therapy in schizophrenia.

See Full story

For more information on Cognitive Behavioral (Psycho/Social) therapies for schizophrenia - we encourage you to review the recently released Canadian Treatment Guidelines for Schizophrenia.


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