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Evidence to Improve Care

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis

    Status: In Development

Final Recommendation

  • Health Quality Ontario, under the guidance of the Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee, recommends that evidence-based structured cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis provided by nonphysicians be publicly funded for patients with a primary diagnosis of schizophrenia (including related disorders such as schizoaffective disorder).

Read the Final Recommendation Report

Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic, and complex mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and perceives situations around them. The condition causes episodes of psychosis (impaired thinking and relationship to reality), which can include symptoms such as delusions, hallucinations, and withdrawal.

The main treatment for schizophrenia is prescribed antipsychotic medications. However, up to
40 percent of people with schizophrenia respond poorly to the medications and continue to have symptoms.

Cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis is a distinct type of psychotherapy often used together with medication, case management, and mental health services in the community to reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.

This health technology assessment looked at the effectiveness, safety, and cost-effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis for the treatment of adults with schizophrenia. It also looked at the budget impact of publicly funding cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis and people’s experiences of schizophrenia and treatment options.

A Health Quality Ontario quality standard on care for adults with schizophrenia in hospital recommends cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis for the treatment of adults with schizophrenia.

Read the full Health Technology Assessment report for more details.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis: A Health Technology Assessment (PDF)
October 2018

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The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is currently reviewing this recommendation.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has provided the following response: The Ministry has a standardized process in place to review Health Quality Ontario recommendations. This takes into consideration Ministry priorities, implementation options, the need for consultation with impacted stakeholders, and funding considerations.

Health Technology Assessment at Health Quality Ontario

As part of our core function to promote health care supported by the best available evidence, we use established scientific methods to analyze the evidence for a wide range of health interventions, including diagnostic tests, medical devices, interventional and surgical procedures, health care programs and models of care. These analyses are informed by input from a range of individuals, including patients and clinical experts. The Ontario Health Technology Advisory Committee — a committee of the Health Quality Ontario board of directors — reviews the evidence and makes recommendations about whether health care interventions should be publicly funded or not. Draft recommendations are posted on the Health Quality Ontario website for feedback. Final recommendations are approved by our board of directors and then shared with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. For more detailed information, visit our Evidence to Improve Care pages.


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