“The Long-Term Use of Antipsychotic Medications for Schizophrenia Patients: Does it Eliminate Psychosis and Facilitate Recovery?”
Martin Harrow, Ph.D.
Description: Over the last 30 years Dr. Martin Harrow, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Psychology Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois College of Medicine, has collected data from over 1000 interviews from people who have lived experience with mental illness. His research has been the basis for a number of papers delineating the effect of medications on those he interviewed.
Further analysis of the data would answer several questions that would provide the basis for a series of important papers to better understand the long term effects of anti-psychotics in the treatment of schizophrenia.
1. Does long-term use of antipsychotics eliminate (or increase) psychosis?
2. Do many schizophrenia patients on long-term antipsychotics have
psychotic features frequently or rarely?
3. What about severity of psychosis?
4. Is long-term use of antipsychotics associated with severity of psychosis?
5. Does long-term use of antipsychotics lead to or detract from
comprehensive global recovery?
6. Is long-term use of antipsychotics, which are apparently associated with
potential brain shrinking, associated with increases, decreases, or no
change in cognitive skills?
7. Is long-term use of antipsychotics associated with positive instrumental
work functioning (and social contacts) or with lower levels in these areas?
8. What are the costs to the Country of schizophrenia?
9. Are rates of rehospitalization higher for patients with schizophrenia who
have continuous use of antipsychotics for years than those that don’t?
These questions will be organized into four separate papers examining the 1) Use of Anti-psychotics, 2) Psychosis, 3) Recovery in Schizophrenia, and 4) Rehospitalization and work functioning.
Dr. Harrow indicates “I am very pleased to work with and receive funds from the Foundation for Excellence in Mental Health Care. I regard it as potentially a very productive association which could advance knowledge about the treatment of people with severe mental illness.”
My hope is that Dr. Harrow’s analysis of the data he has collected will help build a strong data base with answers to questions about long-term use of antipsychotics in which support professionals changing their practices.
For more information on how you can help donate to and fund changes in mental health care please go to www.femhc.org.