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Schizophrenia and Its TreatmentWhere Is the Progress?$
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Matthew M. Kurtz

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199974443

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199974443.001.0001

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A Brief History of the Treatment of Schizophrenia

A Brief History of the Treatment of Schizophrenia

(p.59) 4 A Brief History of the Treatment of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia and Its Treatment

Matthew M. Kurtz

Oxford University Press

A brief overview of the history of treatment of schizophrenia in the United States suggests that public care for schizophrenia became common only in the 19th century with the construction of large-scale psychiatric facilities. The first and second generation of somatic treatments offered in these institutions, including “fever cures,” insulin shock therapy, hydrotherapy, and psychosurgery were applied to individuals with a wide variety of diagnostic features. Studies of these interventions did not include systematic measures of outcome and did not include comparisons of treatment effects with those of a control group. Instead, support for these interventions was based largely on small case series, the charisma of the developer of the treatment, and the intermittent effectiveness of some of these interventions for some clients. Historically, psychological interventions were psychoanalytically based for the majority of the 1900s. More recent application of randomized, controlled methodology has shown these interventions to be largely ineffective at the group level.

Keywords:   History of treatment, psychiatric treatment, asylum movement, somatic treatments, psychological treatments, treatment

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