The Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT): Updated Treatment Recommendations 2009


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Abstract

The Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT) project has played a significant role in the development and dissemination of evidence-based practices for schizophrenia. In contrast to other clinical guidelines, the Schizophrenia PORT Treatment Recommendations, initially published in 1998 and first revised in 2003, are based primarily on empirical data. Over the last 5 years, research on psychopharmacologic and psychosocial treatments for schizophrenia has continued to evolve, warranting an update of the PORT recommendations. In consultation with expert advisors, 2 Evidence Review Groups (ERGs) identified 41 treatment areas for review and conducted electronic literature searches to identify all clinical studies published since the last PORT literature review. The ERGs also reviewed studies preceding 2002 in areas not covered by previous PORT reviews, including smoking cessation, substance abuse, and weight loss. The ERGs reviewed over 600 studies and synthesized the research evidence, producing recommendations for those treatments for which the evidence was sufficiently strong to merit recommendation status. For those treatments lacking empirical support, the ERGs produced parallel summary statements. An Expert Panel consisting of 39 schizophrenia researchers, clinicians, and consumers attended a conference in November 2008 in which consensus was reached on the state of the evidence for each of the treatment areas reviewed. The methods and outcomes of the update process are presented here and resulted in recommendations for 16 psychopharmacologic and 8 psychosocial treatments for schizophrenia. Another 13 psychopharmacologic and 4 psychosocial treatments had insufficient evidence to support a recommendation, representing significant unmet needs in important treatment domains.

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