Reforms to the management of schizophrenia in Australia have stalled
A decade ago, the management of schizophrenia languished in medicine's backwaters. Treatment still occurred in asylums, using drug therapies serendipitously discovered decades earlier. Even these had proved ultimately disappointing and were used in excessive doses, with inevitable serious adverse effects, a great deal of suffering and only modest benefit. Psychosocial treatments were similarly obsolete or simplistic, with a weak evidence base. Therapeutic nihilism was pervasive and stigma profound. The public knew little about schizophrenia and gave little thought to it unless they happened to be directly touched by the disorder in their own lives. The Burdekin Report graphically captured this bleak scenario.1
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