Relapse Prevention and Recovery in the Treatment of Schizophrenia.




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Nonadherence to medication is a predictor of relapse in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, and preventing relapse is crucial to achieving the goal of recovery. Long-term treatment with antipsychotics can be effective, although long-term patient response to medication may be difficult to predict from trials that measure response, remission, and relapse rates because they are often too short. Longer trials are needed to fully understand the implications of adherence and symptom remission in patient outcome. Recovery, however, is contingent on the stabilization of the symptoms of schizophrenia and the acquisition of the skills necessary to function in society. Psychosocial interventions, such as family psychoeducation, social skills training, and cognitive-behavioral therapy, used in conjunction with pharmacotherapy are effective in helping to prevent symptom relapse and promote functional recovery in patients with schizophrenia.

J Clin Psychiatry 2006;67(suppl 5):19-23