European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology vol:6 Suppl 2 pages:S7-12
Schizophrenia impairs the development of social skills needed for useful, independent living. Psychotherapeutic approaches increase the value of antipsychotic drugs by helping patients cope with the social pressures to which they are particularly vulnerable. Antipsychotic drugs reduce psychosis, protect against stressors and, taken lifelong, provide considerable relapse protection. Low-dose or intermittent medication regimens reduce the incidence of side effects but give less protection against relapse than continuous full-dose therapy. For the move towards community- rather than hospital-based care to succeed, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, integrated services are essential. Individually tailored psychosocial rehabilitation enables patients to make the best use of their capabilities. In addition, family therapy increases the effectiveness of drugs and reduces relapse rates. New antipsychotic drugs are likely to be more effective than conventional neuroleptics because they offer broader spectra of activity, induce fewer side effects and are more likely to be taken as directed.