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Chapter 56. Schizophrenia

Which of the following is/are accepted and reliable when diagnosing a patient with schizophrenia?

a. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a laboratory measure such as a blood test.

b. Diagnosis can be confirmed if the patient meets the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5) criteria for schizophrenia.

c. Diagnosis can be confirmed by conducting a brain imaging study on the patient.

d. Diagnosis can be confirmed by a physical examination.

Answer b is correct. Using the DSM-5 criteria for diagnosing schizophrenia is the most reliable method of diagnosing patients with schizophrenia. In order for a patient to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, the patient must meet the diagnostic criteria stated in the DSM-5. This is currently the only accepted and reliable method for diagnosing schizophrenia.

Answer a is incorrect. Currently there are no laboratory measures that can be used to detect or confirm schizophrenia.

Answer c is incorrect. Currently brain imagining is not an accurate or accepted method for diagnosing schizophrenia.

Answer d is incorrect. A physical examination is not an appropriate method used to confirm a schizophrenia diagnosis.

Which of the following is the best way to reduce the risk of relapse?

a. Acute treatment with antipsychotic therapy

b. Acute treatment with nonpharmacologic therapy

c. Maintenance treatment with nonpharmacologic therapy

d. Maintenance treatment with antipsychotic therapy

Answer d is correct. Most patients with schizophrenia require life-long antipsychotic treatment to adequately manage symptoms. Long-term treatment with an antipsychotic will treat schizophrenia and will help prevent the patient from relapsing.

Answer a is incorrect. Acute treatment with antipsychotics temporarily treats and stabilizes the patient’s symptoms, but, in most cases, it is not adequate to prevent relapse.

Answer b is incorrect. Non-pharmacologic therapy such as psychosocial support groups and programs may be useful when combined with antipsychotics; however, non-pharmacologic therapy by itself generally will not treat schizophrenia and prevent relapse. Acute treatment with non-pharmacologic therapy is not adequate to prevent relapse.

Answer c is incorrect. Non-pharmacologic therapy, such as psychosocial support groups and programs, may be useful when combined with antipsychotics; however, non-pharmacologic therapy by itself generally will not treat schizophrenia and prevent relapse. Maintenance treatment with nonpharmacologic therapy is not adequate to prevent relapse.

MY is a 27-year-old man who presents to his psychiatrist with symptoms associated with schizophrenia. MY reports to the psychiatrist that over the ...

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