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Schizophrenia

Pioneering work on psychological interventions by researchers at The University of Manchester has transformed the provision of treatment and care for people with schizophrenia and related mental health problems.

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness and affects one in 100 people in the UK, with costs to society of £12 billion per year in England alone. It can reduce life expectancy by 15 to 20 years and affects people mostly before the age of 35.

Previously, the only treatment options for people with schizophrenia were medication, hospital and social care. Although helpful for some people with schizophrenia, substantial numbers did not fully recover.

Professor Gillian Haddock and the Manchester team identified factors that led to improved recovery, thus enabling the development of effective psychological treatments (cognitive behaviour therapy) to complement existing hospital- and drug-based treatments.

As a result of this work, there are now improved assessments, treatments and outcomes for people with schizophrenia across the globe.

This has had a major impact for patients and their careers, as well as financial savings for the NHS.

One of the clinical evaluation tools developed to assess psychotic symptoms has been adopted by the NHS as a national resource for clinicians and is included in the Government policy on Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT).

The team's work has also contributed to NICE guidance for schizophrenia and for people with schizophrenia and substance abuse. The treatments are now recommended by NICE for all people with schizophrenia and their families.

Treatment manuals, outcome measures and assessment tools developed at The University of Manchester have become core materials in mental health professional training and are widely used all over the world.

"As a result of this work, there are now improved assessments, treatments and outcomes for people with schizophrenia across the globe.”

Gillian Haddock / Professor of Clinical Psychology