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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 52 (2010) 2, 99 - 109

Review article

Cognitive behavioural therapy for schizophrenia

C.T. Smits, M. van der Gaag

The publication of the Dutch multidisciplinary guidelines Schizophrenia and the launching of the Breakthrough project on schizophrenia led by the Trimbos Institute in 2006 aroused considerable interest in the Netherlands for the implementation of cognitive behavioural therapy for patients with schizophrenia. One of the reasons was that pharmacotherapy has its limitations in the treatment of schizophrenia; an antipsychotic drug does not lead to an adequate decrease in psychotic symptoms in all patients; cognitive behavioural therapy is then added as a form of psychotherapy. The effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy has been described in meta-analyses.
aim To ascertain the efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy for the treatment of schizophrenia and to give advice on how this therapy can be implemented.
method We reviewed relevant articles and meta-analyses via PubMed and Ovid using the search terms: 'cognitive behavioural therapy', 'continuity/psychosis', 'implementation', 'metaanalysis', 'nurse therapist', 'psychosis' , 'schizophrenia'.
results Many randomised controlled trials show the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy in the treatment of schizophrenia. At the moment, the encouraging results of scientific research are not being adequately transferred to clinical practice. However, the performance of special interventions by trained nurses is making implementation feasible.
conclusion Cognitive behavioural therapy is an effective treatment for schizophrenia. It is advisable that this type of therapy be made available to patients, in accordance with their specific needs.


keywords cognitive behavioural therapy, cognitive behavioural therapist, implementation, meta-analysis, reviews, schizophrenia