Schizophrenia Library

The Schizophrenia Library provides reliable and up to date information from systematic reviews on around 460 topics relating to schizophrenia. The topics cover symptoms, treatments, diagnosis, risk factors, outcomes, co-occurring ‘comorbid’ conditions, epidemiology (population perspective), and the physical features of schizophrenia. There are two levels of information on each topic. The first is a brief Factsheet that provides general information describing the area examined and the evidence that is available. The second is a Technical Commentary that provides more detail on each topic’s background, methods and results. Printable PDFs of factsheets and technical tables are available to download from each topic page.

Topics can be sourced by using the drop-down browse menu or search bar on the left, or by clicking on the tabs below. You can also view the content by clicking the black arrows on the left-hand side of the category or topic name.

Assessment and diagnosis

A diagnosis of schizophrenia is not a simple one, with symptoms varying across individuals. This category contains information about diagnostic tools for schizophrenia and related disorders, and early detection tools for identifying those at risk of a first episode of psychosis.

Signs and symptoms

The presentation of schizophrenia is often highly varied between individuals, making a clear delineation of symptoms difficult. However there are a range of signs and symptoms identified which comprise the schizophrenia diagnosis. These include positive negative and disorganized symptoms, as well as cognitive symptoms incorporating both social and neuropsychological dysfunction. Social dysfunction may include emotion processing, lack of illness insight and altered theory of mind, while neuropsychological dysfunction may include problems with attention, executive function, learning, decision making and memory.


The treatment of schizophrenia is a complicated issue requiring a treatment plan tailored to each individual’s needs, which needs to be overseen by mental health professionals. This topic covers a range of treatment options available and is extensive and sometimes controversial comprising both traditional and alternative approaches. Any information gained from this topic area needs to be discussed with a mental health professional before any changes to treatment plans are made.

Risk factors and antecedents

Schizophrenia is a complex disorder and has been associated with many causative factors. With a heritability estimate around 80%, schizophrenia has a strong genetic component and this is reflected in the large number of genes that have been associated with the disorder. At present, the library does not include information on specific genes, but does provide general genetic information, information on family heritability, and the environmental risk factors that have been associated with the disorder. We also include information on the antecedents of schizophrenia, which are potentially very early signs of the disorder.

Illness course and outcomes

The course and outcomes of disorders vary widely between individuals. This topic considers chronic schizophrenia, early and late-onset schizophrenia, and first-episode psychosis. Outcomes affecting day to day life include quality of life, relationships, culture, employment, homelessness, violence and self-harm, and recovery and relapse.

Insights for families

Schizophrenia has a large genetic component and as such, families of people with schizophrenia may also be affected by the disorder. This topic assesses the impact of schizophrenia on the family unit, and also cognitive and physiological alterations in relatives.

Physical features

People with schizophrenia usually have physical alterations to their central nervous system. In this category these alterations have been organised into functional and structural changes.

Co-occurring conditions

Schizophrenia is often accompanied by other diseases and disorders. This topic covers common co-occurring mental and physical disorders.


A population perspective provides epidemiological estimations of the prevalence and incidence of schizophrenia in different populations and regions worldwide. This topic considers the history and burden of schizophrenia, and the implications of mental health laws and policies on the treatment and management of the disorder.

General information

This section includes general information on privacy and security, as well as answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs).

NeuRA Libraries

Title Colour Legend:
Green - Topic summary is available.
Orange - Topic summary is being compiled.
Red - Topic summary has no current systematic review available.