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Integrated psychological therapy (IPT) for schizophrenia: is it effective?

By Volker Roder, Daniel R Mueller, Kim T Mueser and Hans D Brenner


Against the background of evidence-based treatments for schizophrenia, nowadays the implementation of specific cognitive and behavioral interventions becomes more important in the standard care of these patients. Over the past 25 years, research groups in 9 countries have carried out 30 independent evaluations of Integrated Psychological Therapy (IPT), a group program that combines neurocognitive and social cognitive interventions with social skills approaches for schizophrenic patients. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effectiveness of IPT under varying treatment and research conditions in academic and nonacademic sites. In a first step, all 30 published IPT studies with the participation of 1393 schizophrenic patients were included in the meta-analysis. In a second step, only high-quality studies (HQS) (7 studies including 362 patients) were selected and analyzed to check whether they confirmed the results of the first step. Positive mean effect sizes favoring IPT over control groups (placebo-attention conditions, standard care) were found for all dependent variables, including symptoms, psychosocial functioning, and neurocognition. Moreover, the superiority of IPT continued to increase during an average follow-up period of 8.1 months. IPT obtained similarly favorable effects across the different outcome domains, assessment formats (expert ratings, self-reports, and psychological tests), settings (inpatient vs outpatient and academic vs nonacademic), and phases of treatment (acute vs chronic). The HQS confirmed the results of the complete sample. The analysis indicates that IPT is an effective rehabilitation approach for schizophrenia that is robust across a wide range of patients and treatment conditions

Publisher: 'Oxford University Press (OUP)'
Year: 2006
DOI identifier: 10.1093/schbul/sb1021
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