Community-based pilot program offers help to schizophrenics
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A prescription to buy Canadian Zyprexa can help people manage symptoms of schizophrenia while reducing medical costs. In the U.S., various healthcare organizations are trying to find more efficient ways to address the mental health needs of these patients. The National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare recently completed a pilot study that assessed the performance of a new treatment paradigm, conducted at 10 community-based behavioral health centers around the U.S.
This program involved two evidence-based tools: a group curriculum to educate patients on self-care, and a functional assessment test for determining one's ability to perform certain everyday tasks, such as money management, nutrition and problem solving. The pilot study started out with nearly 5,700 patients who had been treated for schizophrenia for several years. In the beginning, 20 percent showed inabilities in all areas of the functional assessment test, while 50 percent had major impairments in at least five of 20 critical areas of functioning.
After six months, improvements were seen in three key areas, measured on the seven point DLA-20 scale: communications (3.51 to 3.95), interaction with one's social network (3.8 to 4.23) and coping skills (3.3 to 3.78).
"This program promotes practitioner and consumer partnerships. Together they measure progress and reinforce what works. It's a true step forward for people with schizophrenia and the organizations that serve them," said Linda Rosenberg, president and CEO of the National Council. She added that the model has the potential to be replicated.
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