Supportive therapy

What is supportive therapy? 

Therapeutic support is a key component of the successful treatment of schizophrenia, most providing the opportunity to listen to patients’ concerns, give encouragement, and arrange assistance for practical problems. A definition of ‘supportive therapy’ can include a variety of interventions, ranging from traditional supportive psychotherapy with a clinician, to mental health workers providing practical support. This type of therapy aims to support people with schizophrenia living in the community or in treatment facilities to increase self-esteem, quality of life, and achieve greater social and community functioning.

What is the evidence for supportive therapy?

Moderate to low quality evidence suggests no clear benefit of supportive therapy over standard care or any other psychosocial therapy for mental state or functioning. Supportive therapy may increase study retention in the medium term, but not in the long term, when compared to psychodynamic psychotherapy. Cognitive behavioural therapy may show greater benefit than supportive therapy for improving affective symptoms, such as anxiety or depression, with no differences between groups for other symptoms or for functioning.

September 2020

Last updated at: 4:29 am, 14th September 2020
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