Brief cognitive–behavioural therapy for patients in the community with schizophrenia: randomised controlled trial in Beijing, China

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Abstract

Background

Brief cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) is an emerging treatment for schizophrenia in community settings; however, further trials are needed, especially in non-Western countries.

Aims

To test the effects of brief CBT for Chinese patients with schizophrenia in the community (trial registration: ChiCTR-TRC-13003709).

Method

A total of 220 patients with schizophrenia from four districts of Beijing were randomly assigned to either brief CBT plus treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU alone. Patients were assessed at baseline, post-treatment and at 6- and 12-month follow-ups by raters masked to group allocation.

Results

At the post-treatment assessment and the 12-month follow-up, patients who received brief CBT showed greater improvement in overall symptoms, general psychopathology, insight and social functioning. In total, 37.3% of those in the brief CBT plus TAU group experienced a clinically significant response, compared with only 19.1% of those in the TAU alone group (P = 0.003).

Conclusions

Brief CBT has a positive effect on Chinese patients with schizophrenia in the community.

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