Behaviour Change

Invited Essay

Co-morbidity and Associated Clinical Problems in Schizophrenia: Their Nature and Implications for Comprehensive Cognitive—Behavioural Treatment

Nicholas Tarriera1 c1

a1 University of Manchester, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Schizophrenia is a multifaceted disorder that can affect many aspects of the sufferer's life. Recent advances in the use of cognitive—behaviour therapy as an adjunct treatment for schizophrenia have been shown to result in significant improvements in psychotic symptoms. However, to date, much less attention has been paid to other co-morbid and emotional disorders that often co-exist with psychosis and that can be a severe burden to the sufferer. This article briefly reviews clinical trials of cognitive—behavioural treatments for schizophrenia and their outcome and then goes on to describe clinically important co-morbid or associated clinical problems: social anxiety, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression and suicide risk. Because the psychotic symptoms usually receive priority, there has been little in the cognitive—behavioural literature on the nature and treatment of these co-morbid disorders. The nature of these problems and issues relating to their treatment are discussed.

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Professor Nicholas Tarrier, Academic Division of Clinical Psychology, Education and Research Building (2nd Floor), Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester M23 9LT, United Kingdom. E-mail: nicholas.tarrier@manchester.ac.uk