This category considers the burden of schizophrenia, its history, and the implications for mental health laws and policies on the treatment and management of the disorder. Click on the tabs below to access the information, or browse via the drop-down menu on the left.

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What is burden?  The burden of schizophrenia includes direct costs, indirect costs, and intangible costs. Direct costs are estimated by the amount of services used and the price of treatment. Indirect costs are estimated by the average reduced future earnings of both patients and caregivers. Intangible costs are those that may be associated with the illness, such as trauma and depression. For the cost of specific treatments, please see the psychosocial and pharmaceutical treatment costs topics. What is the evidence for the burden of schizophrenia? Moderate quality evidence finds the overall annual cost of schizophrenia varies worldwide, ranging from US$94…

Schizophrenia diagnosis


How has schizophrenia been defined throughout history?  Positive symptoms of schizophrenia, including hallucinations and delusions, have been described throughout ancient Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese, Greek, and Roman writings. Emil Kraepelin, a German physician, was one of the first to classify schizophrenia using the term “dementia praecox”, meaning premature dementia. The term “schizophrenia” was coined by Eugen Bleuler around 1910, and roughly translates to “splitting of the mind”, a term not meant to suggest a split personality, but to describe a separation of psychological functions: cognition, percept and affect. Since then, the definition of schizophrenia has continued to change. What is the…

Policy and law

How can policies and laws affect people with schizophrenia? Mental health laws in many countries limit involuntary hospital admissions to patients who meet an obligatory dangerousness criterion (ODC) for risk to themselves or others. This policy approach is in use throughout Australia, the USA, and some areas of Canada and Europe. Alternative criteria implemented in the UK and other parts of Canada and Europe allow involuntary treatment in the absence of dangerousness, on the grounds of an assessed need for treatment if the patient is deemed unable to give consent. What is the evidence regarding policies and laws relevant to…

NeuRA Libraries

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