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Using a Multidisciplinary Approach to Improve Outcomes in Schizophrenia

December 09, 2020

A multidisciplinary approach involving a variety of health and medical professionals can help patients with schizophrenia achieve maximum success, Leslie Citrome, MD, MPH, said during a session at a recent Psych Congress Regionals virtual meeting.

Dr. Citrome, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, New York Medical College, Valhalla, explained that people with schizophrenia may experience up to 5 different types of symptoms: positive, negative, cognitive, mood, and motor.

All 5 groups may influence the patient’s social and occupational functionality, including work, interpersonal relationships, and self-care, he said.

“The goal of our assessments and our treatment is to target which symptoms are important for an individual person and improve their overall degree of functioning,” Dr. Citrome told attendees.

Primary care, allied health, and behavioral practitioners can all play a role in addressing symptoms and providing an individualized treatment plan, he said. For example, primary care providers can treat a patient’s physical comorbidities.

In the presentation, Dr. Citrome outlined a pyramid of treatment goals, with stabilization as the base, remission in the center, and recovery at the apex.

“We can give medicine for some symptoms, but we need to enroll everyone in the room regarding cognitive remediation and vocational rehabilitation for functionality,” Dr. Citrome said.

“Supportive and supported employment and housing may be needed to ensure that everything we do will be successful,” he added, and “Intensive Case Management or Assertive Community Treatment may be a requirement for some of our patients” to be able to leave a hospital setting.

—Terri Airov


“Improving the lives of patients with schizophrenia: therapeutic updates and considerations for comprehensive, multidisciplinary care.” Presented at the Psych Congress Regionals 2020 Virtual Experience: December 5, 2020.

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