Relation amicale

Demystifying research in schizophrenia and psychosis

 

People with schizophrenia/ psychotic disorders can consent to research (most people, even under curatorship, are legally capable of consenting to research).

People with schizophrenia/psychotic disorders can tolerate testing duration similar to other research participants.

Self-report assessments are valid – people with schizophrenia and psychoses can reliably answer self-report questions, even questions pertaining to their condition, beliefs,   emotional state or symptoms.

Heterogeneity and co-occurring conditions (including substance use) are present in schizophrenia; this issue is similar to other mental illnesses.

Recovery is achievable for schizophrenia, especially when it is defined broadly to include functioning in spite of continued symptoms.

Cognitive impairments are a core issue, but typically general intellectual ability (IQ) is intact.

Cognitive difficulties (e.g. memory, attention), social cognitive deficits (e.g. theory of mind, emotion recognition) and negative symptoms (e.g. anhedonia, avolition) persist beyond  acute episodes of psychosis and despite medication, i.e., they are not a psychotic "state" phenomenon.

People with schizophrenia should not be taken off their antipsychotic medication for the purpose of controlling a 'research confound' (this would rather unethically likely introduce   adverse effects and other issues).

People with schizophrenia/psychotic disorders can (and do) stay still and calm during a scan/ neuroimaging/EEG procedures.

People with schizophrenia and psychotic disorders are not always ‘psychotic’  - they have periods with more or less preoccupation with their delusions and hallucinations.

Medication for psychotic disorders is no panacea : 33% experience great symptom improvement, 33% have some symptom improvement, 33% see no improvement at all.

Most individuals with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders own a smartphone and are interested in using apps or other technologies (such as virtual reality) for clinical or research purposes.

Evidence-based interventions/programs can greatly improve the lives and the recovery of people with psychosis, helping to achieve normal satisfying lives (independent housing, job,    romantic relationship, symptom self-management).

There are no ‘good or bad’ patient with psychosis or schizophrenia; when provided with effective services, most people get meaningfully better. The lack of provision of appropriate/evidence-   informed services is often a problem, not the patients.