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Preview of Schizophrenia

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Understanding NICE guidance
Information for people who use NHS services
NICE `clinical This booklet is about the care and treatment of people with schizophrenia
guidelines' advise in the NHS in England and Wales. It explains guidance (advice) from NICE
the NHS on caring (the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence). It is written for
people with schizophrenia but it may also be useful for their families or
for people with carers or for anyone with an interest in the condition.
specific conditions
The booklet is to help you understand the care and treatment options
or diseases and the that should be available in the NHS. It does not describe schizophrenia
treatments they or the treatments for it in detail. A member of your healthcare team
should receive. should discuss these with you. There are examples of questions you
could ask throughout this booklet to help you with this. You can
get more information from the organisations listed on page 19.
Medical terms printed in bold type are explained on pages 17 and 18.
Information about NICE clinical guideline 82
Issue date: March 2009

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Your care 3
Schizophrenia 4
What should happen when I first see a healthcare professional? 5
What treatment should I be offered when I first become ill? 7
What should happen if my symptoms get worse? 8
How can I stay well? 12
What are my rights regarding my treatment and care? 14
Information for families and carers 16
Explanation of medical words and terms 17
More information 19
About NICE 20
The advice in the NICE guideline covers:
· the care, treatment and…read more

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Your care
Your treatment and care should take into account your personal needs and
preferences, and you have the right to be fully informed and to make
decisions in partnership with your healthcare team. To help with this, your
healthcare team should give you information you can understand and that
is relevant to your circumstances. All healthcare professionals should treat
you with respect, sensitivity and understanding and explain schizophrenia
and the treatments for it simply and clearly.…read more

Page 4

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Schizophrenia is a condition that affects a person's mental state, including
their thoughts, mood and behaviour. The condition varies from person
to person but the main symptoms are called `psychotic' symptoms.
These are:
· hearing voices and sometimes seeing things that are not really there
(called hallucinations)
· having fixed beliefs that are false but which the person believes in
completely (called delusions).
Because of these symptoms the person may not be able to think clearly
or concentrate.…read more

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What should happen when I first see a
healthcare professional?
If you think you have symptoms of schizophrenia, it is important to get
help as early as possible. Because hallucinations and delusions can feel
real, you may not realise there is anything wrong even when the symptoms
are quite severe. People around you may suggest you get help. Most
people see a professional in a mental health services team after seeing
their GP.…read more

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All people first experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia or with psychotic
symptoms should be offered treatment and support at an early
intervention service. This service should provide a range of treatments,
including medication and psychological treatment.
If you want to ask for a second opinion from another healthcare
professional about being diagnosed with schizophrenia or whether
you need treatment, this decision should be supported by your
healthcare team.…read more

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What treatment should I be offered when I
first become ill?
You should first be offered `antipsychotic medication' in a form that Some treatments
you can swallow (tablets or liquid). may not be suitable
Your healthcare professional should give you detailed information about for you, depending
the medications available, how they can help you and their side effects. on your exact
They should involve you (and, if you agree, your family or carers) in the
circumstances.…read more

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What should happen if my symptoms get worse?
If your symptoms get worse and are distressing (called an acute episode),
your healthcare team should offer you a range of treatments, including
medication and psychological treatment.
You may receive care at home from a crisis resolution and home treatment
team, an early intervention service or an assertive outreach team. If
these teams cannot provide all the treatment and support you need, you
may also be asked to go to an acute day hospital.…read more

Page 9

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Psychological treatment
As well as medication you should be offered a psychological treatment If you have talked
called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT). This will involve meeting to your healthcare
with a therapist on a one-to-one basis for at least 16 sessions. If you
team, and you
live with your family or are in close contact with them, you and your
family should also be offered a psychological treatment called family think that a
intervention.…read more

Page 10

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Questions about treatment
· What are the advantages and disadvantages of having
this treatment?
· Please tell me what the treatment will involve.…read more


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