treatments of Schizophrenia

treatments of Schizophrenia

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Describe and Evaluate 2 treatments of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is characterised by a profound disruption of cognitive and emotion, which effects a
person's language, thoughts, perception, affect and sense of self. There are 5 main types of
schizophrenia which are made up of different symptoms, for example a paranoid schizophrenia
suffers from delusions and hallucinations. The big question surrounding this topic is what type of
treatment was more effective in treating schizophrenia.
Biological Treatments Of Schizophrenia
One type of treatment is the use of anti-psychotic drugs which were introduced in 1952, these drugs
work by increasing or decreasing the synaptic activity. One of the most used drugs to treat
schizophrenia is chlorpromazine, which aims to reduce the activity of the neurotransmitter dopamine
by closing the receptors off without activating them, reducing the amount of dopamine being
transferred to the next neuron. Chlorpromazine reduces the positive symptoms of schizophrenia. A
new drug clozapine has been found to be effective for 80-85% of schizophrenia sufferers. Clozapine
is able to treat negative symptoms and has fewer side effects unlike the previous drugs.
One piece of research that supports the use of anti psychotic drugs is Cole et al (1964) who placed
344 patients from 9 different hospitals in to groups; one group was given a drug and the other group
a placebo. After 6 weeks 75 % of the group with the drug were judged as improved compared to
25% in the placebo group. This supports the biologically treatment of schizophrenia as a large
percentage improved after taking the drug.
One weakness of the Biological treatment is that the drugs aren't 100% effective in treating
patients, meaning they may be some confounding variables.
One piece of research that supports the use of anti psychotic drugs is Davies et al (1989) & (1993)
who found that the benefit was 75% short term and only 55-60% long term. This supports the use of
anti-psychotic drugs as a short term, however anti psychotic drugs are not useful for long term
Behaviour Treatments of Schizophrenia
In a token economy programs patients are rewarded whenever they behave acceptably according to
established criteria and are not rewarded when they behaviour is unacceptable. The reward tokens
can be later exchanged for food, cigarettes, hospital privileges and other desirable item. The
acceptable behaviours include making ones bed or getting dress by themselves. Hospitals must add
new target behaviours and reinforcement. Some hospitals have set up economy program levels,
consisting with different levels of difficulty.
A number of researches such as Emmelkamp (1994) supports the token economy as they suggested
that token economy does help change schizophrenic and related behaviour.
One piece of research that supports token economy is Paul & Lentz (1977) applied operant
conditioning to 28 patients with constant schizophrenia. Their dysfunctional behaviour included

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By the end of the four and a half years 98% gad been released, usually
to sheltered care facilities, 18 months later only 2 patients had been re-hospitalise, compared to
71% of patients treated in a milieu program. This supports the token economy program as most
patients were not re-hospitalised after they participated in the program. However this is not a short
term treatment.…read more


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