Evaluation of a two year course of intensive care of young persons with schizophrenia / Evaluation einer zweijährigen Intensivbetreuung von Jugendlichen mit Schizophrenie
OBJECTIVE: The Trialog project offers patients with early-onset schizophrenia (EOS) a two-year programme of residential outpatient care following discharge from a clinic. The programme aims to support their further recovery and independence and encompasses interactive and psycho-educational multifamily care, coping with persistent symptoms, development of socio-emotional competence, independent house keeping, and support of school and vocational training. METHODS: To evaluate psychopathology along with social and neuropsychological function for 12 participants over a period of 2 years. Their progress was compared with that of 12 EOS patients who did not attend Trialog following discharge. RESULTS: Participants showed a significantly greater decrease of positive and negative symptoms, as opposed to an increase in positive symptoms in the comparison group. Measures of social function, neuropsychological indicators of memory, (selective) attention, and psychomotor speed improved more than in the comparison subjects. Neither group showed changes in measures of intelligence or in the subjective quality of life. CONCLUSIONS: First analyses raise hope that monitoring participant performance in the programme of the "Trialog project" will improve the treatment and care of EOS-patients in the critical first years following the onset of schizophrenia.
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