The Singapore Family Physician

Back to issue Vol 39 No. 1 - Schizophrenia

Management of Relapse in Schizophrenia

Sujatha Rao
The Singapore Family Physician Vol 39 No 1 - Schizophrenia
22 - 25
1 February 2013
Relapse of psychotic symptoms in Schizophrenia occurs in up to 40% of patients within a year of being hospitalised. A relapse may be secondary to any individual factor or several factors acting concomitantly. Risk factors that can precipitate a relapse in Schizophrenia are: significant residual psychopathology, poor compliance to medication, poor insight, substance misuse, interactions with other medication, poor social support, increased stress and caregivers with high expressed emotions. A thorough history and assessment should be conducted to elicit all contributory factors and appropriate interventions undertaken to address them in order to prevent the onset of a full blown relapse or to help the individual to achieve remission of symptoms. It is necessary to implement a proactive approach towards the prevention of relapses by using strategies such as psychoeducation and early identification of relapse signatures. More importantly, it should be emphasised that empowerment of the individuals in understanding and managing their illness is crucial.