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The University of Southampton

Dramatically improving care for people with schizophrenia

Psychosis research at the University of Southampton has dramatically changed the care of people with schizophrenia. Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is now indicated for all schizophrenia patients and included in NICE guidelines. Our studies have led to widespread use of CBT for schizophrenia around the world. The UK Department of Health has also developed an Improving Access to Psychological Therapies implementation programme for CBT for people with schizophrenia.

Research Challenge

Schizophrenia is a common disorder amongst the top 10 causes of disability globally equivalent to Alzheimer's disease. Lifetime morbidity and cost to society is much higher due to predominant onset in early adulthood affecting carers and families.


Professor David Kingdon and his team in Southampton have taken a leading role in developing new therapeutic approaches to schizophrenia. His study on the positive effects of CBT was published in 2000 and led to replications worldwide with guidelines internationally now supporting the use of CBT for early and medication-resistant schizophrenia.

Our Solution

Southampton researchers have developed the implementation of CBT further with studies of long term follow up and identification of outcome predictors.

Our studies demonstrated that long term benefits accrue after intervention ends. These include effects on reducing suicidality, anxiety and depression, and improvements in self-esteem. The study has also allowed identification of early outcome predictors.

The studies of implementation and referral patterns we have produced are influencing development of therapeutic pathways in the US and UK.

What was the impact?

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is now recommended internationally for all patients with schizophrenia especially those with persistent symptoms. Southampton studies are referenced in NICE guidelines, APA Clinical Guidelines and many other International guidelines. The Schizophrenia Commission has recommended ‘Increasing access to psychological therapies in line with NICE guidelines’.

artist's view of Schizophrena

Key Publication

    List of all staff members in
    Staff MemberPrimary Position
    David KingdonProfessor of Mental Health Care Delivery
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