Schizophrenia: Diagnosis and continuing treatment. Principles of Practice from the European Expert Panel on the contemporary treatment of schizophrenia

A. C. Altamura, J. Bobes, D. Cunningham Owens, J. Gerlach, J. S E Hellewell, S. Kasper, D. Naber, N. Tarrier, J. Van Os

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Providing optimal treatment for people with schizophrenia is a difficult long-term problem for clinicians and healthcare providers. Over the years a variety of approaches to treatment have evolved and, until now, there have been no widely accepted standards for care. To determine the principles underpinning the best practice for schizophrenia treatment, an Expert Panel of European psychiatrists and psychologists has worked to distil current theory, collective practical experiences and published literature into 17 basic Principles of Practice. These are not intended to duplicate or replace local treatment policies or guidelines. Instead, they describe best practice in diagnosis, patient assessment and long-term treatment of schizophrenia as it exists at the beginning of the 21st century and is likely to exist in the near future. The Principles of Practice broadly fall into four main categories: (1) assessment, diagnosis and care provision; (2) treatment in day-to-day practice; (3) building a positive therapeutic alliance; and (4) a long-term clinical commitment. Running through all the Principles are several common threads-the fundamental importance of the therapeutic alliance between the clinician and the patient, the need to plan both for treatment efficacy and avoidance of side-effects and the importance of long-term treatment planning. It is intended that psychiatrists and other healthcare professionals can use the Principles as a benchmark for optimum patient management, and as a tool when negotiating the future of local and national schizophrenia management services. Furthermore, the Principles of Practice represent a first step in the development of a new patient-centred philosophy for the care of people with schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Antipsychotic treatment
  • Assessment
  • Patient acceptability
  • Principles of Practice
  • Psychosocial interventions
  • Schizophrenia
  • Thrapeutic alliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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