Things that (Should) make you say "Duh!"
Thursday, March 1, 2007; Page A10
Schizophrenics Need More Than Medicating
Schizophrenia patients in the United States desperately need social services and rehabilitation programs because medications alone are doing little to help them improve their quality of life, according to a government study into antipsychotic drugs.
The findings mirror what many clinicians have long reported -- large numbers of patients come into doctors' offices in crisis and are temporarily stabilized with medications but soon relapse because the drugs have limited effectiveness or intolerable side effects.
In studies and editorials published today in the American Journal of Psychiatry, psychiatrists said the medications had only modest benefits in helping patients resume constructive lives. Schizophrenia, which afflicts about 1 percent of all adults, impairs thinking and social relationships.
"The treatments we are using don't measure up all that well," said Jeffrey Lieberman, a Columbia University psychiatrist who headed the study that looked at an older medication and several newer drugs. "They are effective, but they are not effective in producing major improvements."