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Cognitive behavioural therapy (brief versus standard duration) for schizophrenia


Naeem, F. et al

Subject Keywords: Schizophrenia, Mental wellbeing
Set: Mental Health
Type: Article
Region: International (other)

People with schizophrenia often hear voices or see things (hallucinations) and have strange beliefs (delusions). Characteristics of the illness are disordered thoughts, feelings, beliefs and perceptions. People with schizophrenia may also find it difficult to find employment, make friends and socialise with other people.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) works by focusing on people’s thoughts, emotions and behaviours and by challenging strange or dysfunctional thoughts. CBT was originally developed to help people with psychological disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. More recently it has been used to help people with psychosis (CBTp). Working with a therapist, people establish links between their thoughts, feelings or actions. They are encouraged to re-evaluate their beliefs, perceptions and reasoning as well as to monitor their own thoughts, feelings, behaviours and symptoms. CBTp is suggested to provide alternative ways of coping with strange thoughts and the symptoms of schizophrenia, which should reduce distress and improve people’s functioning.

Standard CBTp tends to involve around 16 sessions (12 to 20 sessions) over 4 to 6 months, while brief CBTp involves around 6 to 10 sessions, in less than 4 months.

The aim of this review was to compare two types of CBTp, brief CBTp and standard CBTp for people with schizophrenia. A search was run for relevant randomised studies in 2013. Only seven potentially-relevant studies were found. However, although all of them randomised people with schizophrenia, none of these studies compared brief CBTp with standard CBTp. In the main they compared brief CBTp with standard care or other therapies. There is, therefore, no information or literature available to compare brief with standard CBTp for schizophrenia and psychosis.



Rights: © The Cochrane Collaboration
Suggested citation:

Naeem, F. et al. (2014) Cognitive behavioural therapy (brief versus standard duration) for schizophrenia [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 19th August 2018].


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