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Salud mental

versión impresa ISSN 0185-3325


DIAZ MARTINEZ, Leonila Rosa et al. La rehabilitación integral del paciente esquizofrénico en México: el modelo del Instituto Nacional de Psiquiatría Ramón de la Fuente, Grupo III. Salud Ment [online]. 2005, vol.28, n.6, pp.9-19. ISSN 0185-3325.

In this manuscript we describe results obtained for Group III of the Integral Rehabilitation Program for Outpatient Schizophrenic Patients (IRPS III) at the National Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente. This program was created for Mexican schizo-phrenic patients as a refined alternative for the treatment, rehabilitation and integration to a productive life within society. It is interdisciplinary and integral in nature; both patients and their relatives are involved in the treatment and rehabilitation. It includes admission, stabilization of clinical symptoms, and application of strategies for rehabilitation for one year (pharmacological treatment, group psychotherapy, labor -vocation induction therapy, music therapy, psychosocial psychotherapy, occupational therapy, artistic painting, drawing, and Hata-Yoga workshops, psycho-educational workshops for relatives, group dynamics therapy with responsible relatives, and unifamilial psychotherapy); there were assessments at the beginning and at end of the study.


To evaluate the efficacy of an interdisciplinary and integral program in these patients, with respect to a control group that received the usual medical-psychiatric treatment. Evaluation was carried out according to: a) Severity of psychiatric symptoms, b) Treatment compliance, c) Everyday performance, d) Psychosocial functioning, e) Global activity, f) Home occupational activities, g) Expressed emotion and attribution of the illness, and h) Patterns of communication and relationship within the family. The goals of this program were to reduce the disabilities and to profit from the conserved functions, as well as to develop other skills in order to increase the quality of life of patients.


This was a quasi-experimental pretest-postest prospective study where an experimental group and a control group were compared. The control group (n=39) received the usual psychiatric management, while the experimental group (n=39), participated in addition to this management, in a one-year integral rehabilitation program at the outpatient service of the institute. The sample was obtained in a non-probabilistic and sequential way, according to the established inclusion and exclusion criteria.

Variables:Efficacy was evaluated through: a) Severity of psychiatric symptoms; b) Treatment compliance; c) Everyday functioning; d) Psychosocial functioning; e) Occupational activities at home; f) Expressed emotion; g) Patterns of communication and relationship within the family.

Instruments: Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI), Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANNS), Clinical Interview and File, Everyday Unemployment Scale, Psychosocial Functioning Scale, Global Assessment Scale, Assessment and Follow-up Questionnaire, Patient Labor Performance Scale, Social Behavior Assessment Schedule (SBAS), Five Minute Speech Sample (FMSS), Verification of the Performance in Occupational Activities for Schizophrenic Patients, Extrapyramidal Symptom Scale.

Procedures: a) Incorporation of patients and relatives to the study; b) Stabilization of clinical symptoms; c) Initial assessment; d) Program application; e) Final assessment.


Demographic data: There were 47 subjects in the final sample, 25 in the experimental group, and 22 controls. There were more males than females in both groups (76% in the experimental group and 63.6% in controls). Being single was the most frequent marital status among patients (88% in the experimental group and 91% in controls). Education was slightly higher in the experimental group, were 40% had a bachelor´s degree as opposed to 27.2% in controls.

Treatment compliance: The program had a final efficiency of 64% for the experimental group and 56% for controls. Some of the experimental subject’s characteristics at the beginning of the program were related with treatment compliance: age, years of illness history, and number of different diagnoses. It was determined that 62% of the patients who completed the program were less than 30 years old, and in 80% of the cases the onset of the illness was less than 10 years ago. Regarding the number of diagnoses per patient, 60% of those who completed the study had one diagnosis, 40% had two or more. On the contrary, 30% of the patients who abandoned the study had one diagnosis and 70% had two or more. In other words, almost three fourths of the sub-sample that abandoned the Program had more than one diagnosis: 31% had two, 31% had three, and 10% had four or more.

Clinical area: In the clinical area, there were no significant differences between groups. However, patients in the experimen-tal group had a higher level of clinical adaptation and treatment compliance.

Everyday performance: The everyday performance was improved in patients from the experimental group, with statistically significant changes in 71.5% of the pretest-postest evaluated areas, with emphasis on self-care, family and interpersonal relationships, and remunerated work. In the control group, there was an improvement only in 28.5% of the areas.

Psychosocial functioning: Global and by-area psychosocial functioning showed statistically significant differences in the experimental group in all functioning areas; there was an improvement from three to two, the latter number meaning feeling satisfied. This was not the case in the control group.

Behavior at home: In the experimental group, the perception in families was that occupational behavior at home was improved, according to the final score.

Family assessment: Relatives in the experimental group attributed the problems they had with the patient to personality characteristics. These problems were diminished at the end of the study, but not in the control group. When relatives attributed problems to the way of being and attitudes of patients, there was a decrease of problems from 31.6% to 26.3%.

Emotional Expression in relatives from the experimental group was observed in 79.2% at the beginning of the treatment program, which decreased to 33.3% at the end of the study, with a significant difference of p <0.006, as opposed to relatives in the control group, who did not show statistically significant differences.

Clinical assessment of families: At the beginning of the program, this group established reiterative communication patterns. The patient showed rejection to communication. Relatives blamed schizophrenia for the lack of communication. At the end of the program, patterns of communication had importantly improved.


Demographic data in our sample are similar to those described in previous reports for male:female ratio, marital status, and education. Some characteristics of the patients, in particular age, years from onset of illness, and psychiatric comorbidity assessed at recruitment were associated with completing or not the program.

At the end of the study it was clear the program reached its goals of reducing the patients’ disabilities and profiting of conserved functions: 64% of the patients in the experimental group were more stable in clinical terms, and treatment compliance was better. Also, everyday performance was notably improved. In the experimental group there were pretest-postest statistically significant differences in 71.5% of the studied area, especially in self-care and interpersonal relationships. In the control group there were significant changes only in 28.5% of the areas.

One level of improvement was observed in global and by-area psychosocial functioning in the experimental group, but not in controls. Patients at the end of the study had switched from a score of three (neutral, unconcerned) to level two (satisfied with their own functioning). In the control group there were no statistically significant differences.

Emotional expression in relatives in the experimental group significantly decreased at the end of the study (p< .006), but not in the control group, given that the latter did not show statistically significant differences. Occupational activities at home were also improved in the experimental group, with better scores at the end of the study.

Regarding the assessment of occupational therapy, there were significant differences in four areas.

Other areas with positive changes were: disease attribution to the patient, and patterns of communication in the family. The areas with better results were self-care, socialization, and family dynamics, which are frequently altered in schizophrenic patients.

These results showed the efficacy of the program in its integral version (pluridimensional). Once the proposed objectives are reached, we propose to continue this program with important modifications of the method, which will be described in future publications.

Palabras llave : Psychiatric rehabilitation; comprehensive rehabilitation; schizophrenia; psychosocial rehabilitation; comprehensive treatment in schizophrenia.

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