Cognitive-behavioral therapy as an adjunct to second-generation antipsychotics in the treatment of schizophrenia

Psychiatr Serv. 2010 Sep;61(9):940-3. doi: 10.1176/ps.2010.61.9.940.


Objective: This study determined whether adding cognitive-behavioral therapy to treatment for outpatients with schizophrenia would be more effective than the use of second-generation antipsychotics alone. Thirty-three patients were randomly assigned to receive either second-generation antipsychotics alone (N=18) or second-generation antipsychotics plus cognitive-behavioral therapy (N=15).

Methods: All patients received pharmacotherapy from a single provider and in a predetermined standard manner. Psychopathology ratings were done at baseline, at the end of treatment (12 weeks) and three months after completion of treatment (24 weeks).

Results: Twenty-five (76%) patients completed baseline and 12-week evaluations, and 17 (68%) patients who finished treatment also completed evaluations at 24 weeks. At the end of treatment persons in the second-generation antipsychotics plus cognitive-behavioral therapy group were rated as having less severe delusions than patients in the group receiving second-generation antipsychotics only, and this difference was maintained three months after treatment ended.

Conclusions: Adding cognitive-behavioral therapy may help with reducing the severity of delusions among patients with schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Schizophrenia / drug therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antipsychotic Agents