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New survey reveals treatment goals of people with schizophrenia

WASHINGTON -- Details from a large-scale survey focusing on treatment goals for schizophrenia shed new light on what physicians and people with schizophrenia feel is important for long-term quality care, according to Ronald J. Diamond, M.D., co-author of the study.

"When we treat people with any kind of chronic illness, especially schizophrenia, it's important that we listen to their life goals, what they want out of treatment and what they want out of life," said Dr. Diamond, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, medical director at the Mental Health Center of Dane County and consultant to the Wisconsin Bureau of Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Madison, Wisc. "This study examines the similarities and differences of what schizophrenia patients and their physicians view as primary treatment goals." Dr. Diamond spoke today at the American Medical Association's 23rd Annual Science Reporters Conference in Washington D.C.

In the schizophrenia treatment goals survey, physicians and people with stable schizophrenia both reported their top treatment goals were improving mental health and improving overall happiness.

"One of the more surprising results of the survey was how similar the goals of both psychiatrists and people with schizophrenia in outpatient settings were," Dr. Diamond said. "The idea of truly listening to patients and questioning their goals has really caught on. As we can see from the survey, the top goal of both physicians and people with schizophrenia parallel each other, which means as psychiatrists - we've got it."

However, some differences in treatment goals remain. People with schizophrenia were more interested and focused on decreasing psychotic symptoms such as hearing voices. In general, physicians were focused on treating symptoms. According to the survey, people with schizophrenia have shifted their focus to life goals rather than treatment goals. They ranked the f
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Contact: Lisa Brunette
la.brunette@hosp.wisc.edu
608-263-5830
American Medical Association
13-Oct-2004


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