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May 7, 2012
According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal, cognitive therapy (CT) may reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms among individuals who develop psychosis. Participants (n = 288) identified as high-risk for developing a psychotic disorder were randomly assigned to receive either six months of CT plus mental state monitoring or mental state monitoring only. While CT did not significantly reduce the transition to psychosis, it did reduce the severity of psychotic symptoms in high-risk individuals. Further, the overall prevalence of transition to psychosis (8%) was lower than expected, and most participants in both groups improved over time. These findings impart an optimistic message to patients at risk for psychosis: Patients can improve with intervention, and CT may help with recovery.

Morrison, A. P., Stewart, S. L. K., French, P., Parker, S., Byrne, R., Birchwood, M., Brunet, K., ... Dunn, G. (2012). Early detection and intervention evaluation for people at risk of psychosis: Multisite randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal (online), 344, 7852.