The Cochrane Schizophrenia Group

Measuring the Outcomes of trials

By Mark Fenton, CSzG Editor and Editor for Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (DUETs)

The job I get paid to do is as Editor of a database about things we know we don’t know (UK DUETS – http://www.library.nhs.uk/duets/) and one of the fields in a UK DUETs entry is to record the outcomes which should be addressed if the uncertainty should be taken up for future research.

Smiley Face 5 Satisfaction Scale

Smiley Face 5 Satisfaction Scale (Photo credit: cathyinoz)

I think it might be fair to say that I have spent a lot of time in the past seven years thinking about outcomes that should be measured in all sorts of trials, not just trials for those with schizophrenia. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Clozapine rollercoaster

By Mahesh Jayaram, CSzG Editor and Clinical Consultant Psychiatrist

This is my first ever blog, hence not sure how I go about writing this, however here it goes….
My life as a psychiatrist often involves dealing with people who present with difficulties that even after years of knowing someone takes me aback. Not knowing what challenge will present itself is what makes my job interesting keeps me going. Sometimes though, there is the frustration of coming across the same problem that has confronted me before and not having the right solutions. Patients suffering from schizophrenia have to deal with not only their symptoms, which can often be intrusive and disabling but also with the consequences of suffering from the illness, stigma and impact, it has on their lives. In addition, the medications that are available for this condition are imperfect and cause unacceptable side effects. Read the rest of this entry »

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Old side effects and old drugs; old side effects and new drugs

silence the voices - still the visions

silence the voices – still the visions (Photo credit: Jackal1)

By Clive Adams

People using antipsychotic drugs like chlorpromazine and haloperidol get [anticholinergic] side effects such as blurred vision, dry mouth and constipation but the proportion of people experiencing these is not clear.

Past surveys are very old indeed, small and not really proper surveys at all. Their results had been perpetuated for decades without verification. They were undertaken so long ago that they were only about older drugs – so the lack of verification had resulted in bias as the older drugs held their reputation of causing these effects and the newer ones never gathered it in the same way. Read the rest of this entry »

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