Treatment target in schizophrenia: a critical review and a clinical suggestion.

Takefumi Suzuki, Hiroyuki Uchida, Koichiro Watanabe, Haruo Kashima

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Patients with schizophrenia have many problems as well as symptoms, and various rating scales have been in use to address them. The authors review past representative rating scales and some pivotal studies to focus on treatment target in schizophrenia. Traditionally, positive symptoms have been the main target of treatment. However, other crucial domains such as negative and cognitive symptoms, and subjective perspectives are drawing due attention because of their clinical relevance. Given many domains to be addressed, there have eventually been too many assessment scales to be selected and widely utilized in real-world clinical settings, and there has been still no concrete consensus on which scales to utilize in a given situation, which is currently decided at the discretion of the investigators. Measurement is frequently difficult even with the existing assessments, especially as what constitutes an acceptable clinical status is hard to define, considering highly hetero generous nature of the illness. Many rating scales are met with limitations especially in time and in pragmatic comprehensiveness, which often hinder their routine application in time-limited busy settings. Still, problems and functioning of patients are the reasonable target to evaluate for measurement-based treatment. The authors suggest assessment of problems resulting from symptoms together with objective functioning, which clinical psychiatrists are actually doing in everyday practice, would serve as a minimum set of standardized assessment in schizophrenia, and the newly developed TIP-Sz and FACT-Sz would serve for that purpose. Other crucial viewpoints could be supplemented with (subjective) assessment scales as appropriate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-102
Number of pages23
JournalPsychopharmacology bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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