Therapist experience, general clinical ability, and treatment outcome in schizophrenia

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Abstract

Knowledge of the effect of therapist training and experience on the outcome of treatment of schizophrenic patients is scanty. The present article presents data systematically collected in the course of a controlled comparison of the effects of 5 different treatment methods in schizophrenia (individual psychotherapy, ataractic drug treatment, individual psychotherapy and drug treatment, ECT, and “milieu” care) involving 228 1st-admission schizophrenics without significant prior treatment and 38 psychiatric residents or recently graduated psychiatrists. Among the 23 outcome variables studied (including the Menninger Health-Sickness Scale, the Camarillo Dynamic Assessment Scale, the MMPI, the Communication subscale of the MACC Behavioral Adjustment Scale, and the Clyde Mood Scale), there was not a single instance in which the effect of therapist experience and general clinical ability was significantly related to outcome. There appeared to be, however, differences among therapists' results that were not related to experience and general clinical ability, particularly in relation to the length of time that they kept their patients in hospital. Drug treatment tended to override but perhaps not entirely eliminate these effects. (36 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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