Continuous versus targeted medication in schizophrenic outpatients: outcome results

Am J Psychiatry. 1990 Sep;147(9):1138-48. doi: 10.1176/ajp.147.9.1138.


The authors report on the outcome of treatment of 116 outpatients with chronic schizophrenia who were assigned to a 2-year, single-blind course of treatment with either targeted or continuous medication. These patients were not restricted to those who were good candidates for a medication reduction strategy. Continuous medication was superior to targeted medication in preventing decompensations and hospitalizations and in extent of employment at 2 years. Other measures of psychopathology and functioning at 1 and 2 years did not differentiate the two groups of patients. The targeted approach achieved a substantial reduction in total medication through a reduction in the number of days of medication administration.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ambulatory Care*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antipsychotic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / epidemiology
  • Dyskinesia, Drug-Induced / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Life Tables
  • Male
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Single-Blind Method


  • Antipsychotic Agents