Quick Reference For Health Care Providers Management of Schizophrenia In Adults
Date: 19 March 2012
Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric disorder that alters an individual's perception, thought, affect and behaviour.
The incidence rate is 16 per 100,000 (range of 8 to 43 per 100,000).
Although there is effective biopsychosocial treatment available, substantial number of people with schizophrenia remains undiagnosed and untreated.
People who develop symptoms of schizophrenia should be diagnosed and treated early.
The management of schizophrenia may be divided into acute phase, relapse prevention and stable phase.
Antipsychotics (APs) are the mainstay of pharmacological treatment. Conventional APs should be used as a first option; most commonly used are haloperidol, perphenazine or sulpiride. As options, amisulpride or olanzapine may also be considered.
Effective psychosocial interventions include family intervention, psychoeducation, social skills training and cognitive remediation therapy.
It is essential that the following services be considered i.e. community mental health team to prevent relapse and readmission, assertive community treatment for more difficult cases, supported employment for all who want to work, and crisis intervention and home treatment as alternative to acute inpatient care.
This Quick Reference provides key messages and a summary of the main recommendations in the Clinical Practice Guidelines (CPG) Management of Schizophrenia in Adults (May 2009).
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