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Freeman, T. (1970). Treatment of Schizophrenia: By A. R. May. New York: Science House. 1969. Pp. xix + 352.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:92-93.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:92-93

Treatment of Schizophrenia: By A. R. May. New York: Science House. 1969. Pp. xix + 352.

Review by:
Thomas Freeman

This book consists of an account of a research project which was designed to compare the effects of five different treatment methods in the therapy of schizophrenia. The project was conducted at the Camarillo State Hospital, California, and it has involved the participation of psychiatrists, psychoanalysts and psychologists in collaboration with the nursing and medical staff of the hospital. The five treatments investigated were drug therapy (phenothiazines) alone, psychotherapy in combination with drug treatment, electro-shock treatment alone, psychotherapy alone and milieu therapy alone.

The methodology employed and the statistical methods used to evaluate the results are presented clearly and simply. Only those patients were admitted to the project who were first admissions to the hospital, were in the age range 15–45, were free of organic disease and not addicted to drugs, and were considered by a panel of the project workers to belong to the favourable prognosis group—thus patients whose illness appeared to be of the kind which would remit spontaneously were excluded, as were those suffering from 'nuclear' schizophrenia. The criteria employed to identify first admissions, recovery, failure to improve, etc. are given in some detail. This and other data (for example, comparative costs of the treatment methods) are provided in an appendix.

The outstanding feature of this project was its intention to examine a series of treatments which all would consider practicable in a public mental hospital where medical and nursing staff are limited in number and patients many.

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