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Cognitive behavioural therapy

What is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)?

CBT aims to generate links between patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviours using cognitive restructuring to facilitate the understanding and management of behaviours. It can be used for improving positive or negative symptoms, as well as other factors including depression, psychotic relapse and coping.

What is the evidence for CBT?

Overall, moderate to high quality evidence suggests a medium-sized effect of CBT for improving symptoms, particularly positive symptoms, when compared to treatment as usual. CBT may improve functioning, mood, hopelessness, insight into the illness, and prevent relapse. CBT may also reduce mortality, increase discharge rates from hospital, and improve attitudes towards medications. Group CBT may reduce hospital readmission rates, social anxiety, and depression. Moderate to low quality evidence suggests CBT combined with motivational interviewing may improve general life and client satisfaction, but not other outcomes in patients with schizophrenia and concurrent substance misuse.


May 2016


Page last updated: 5:40  13 November 2017

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