A new study has looked at the last 50 years worth of data in Mental Health Care and concluded that Antipsychotics do work to help prevent relapse of schizophrenia.
Relapse rates were 64% in people not taking medications for schizophrenia, while they were 27% in those who were given them for at least a year. Relapse — meaning symptoms get worse or come back after a period of improvement — is a common occurrence in people with schizophrenia
One observation was that the idea that those who were compliant with medications might also be more open to other interventions and community followup wasn’t proposed, questioned, or even mentioned in the article. There is a high possibility that if they were to look a little harder into the data they would find that it isn’t just medications that are holding people out of hospital but that it is their willingness to engage and accept help from the service, of which medication is only a small part.
Another observation was that this result may be because the definition of ‘relapse’ they have used for the study is just a worsening of symptoms, which for a lot of clients may be mild and completely manageable but is a relapse for this research purpose. It is also well known that the WHO’s definition of ‘Health’ is “… a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (WHO definition of health)
Although there is no question that Medications have a very important place in mental health care, it has to be said that Allied health and nursing staff are often forgotten and undervalued in the work that they do to assist clients to improve their quality of life.