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Befriending patients with medication-resistant schizophrenia: Can psychotic symptoms predict treatment response?

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Jan Scott, Professor Douglas Turkington


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Objectives. Supportive interventions are used in schizophrenia, but little research has been conducted into whether any baseline variable predicts treatment response. The aim of this study was to establish if baseline delusions or hallucinations are associated with changes in overall symptoms in patients who received a befriending intervention. Design. The sample consisted of 44 patients with schizophrenia. These patients comprised the befriending arm of a multicentre randomized controlled trial which compared the efficacy of using CBT against befriending as an adjunct to routine care for patients with medication-resistant schizophrenia. Methods. Scores for auditory hallucinations and delusions relating to persecution or control were entered into two regression models. The dependent variables were change in overall symptoms (1) between baseline and end of the intervention, and (2) between baseline and 9 months post-intervention. Results. Baseline delusions predicted a good response and auditory hallucinations predicted a poor response at 9 months. Conclusions. Baseline psychotic symptoms strongly predicted outcome in this sample. The finding that hallucinations predicted a poor outcome is consistent with previous research. These results may help to determine which patients would benefit from supportive interventions.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Samarasekera N, Kingdon D, Siddle R, O'Carroll M, Scott JL, Sensky T, Barnes TRE, Turkington D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice

Year: 2007

Volume: 80

Pages: 97-106

ISSN (print): 1476-0835

ISSN (electronic):

Publisher: British Psychological Society


DOI: 10.1348/147608306X108998


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