Most people with schizophrenia will be seeing GPs as well as psychiatrists and community psychiatric services. GPs should collaborate with the psychiatric services to plan each patient’s management. Patients and carers should participate also, if possible.
- Schizophrenia and related psychoses affect about 4% of the population.
- Most people with schizophrenia live in the community and consult their GPs for their primary care.
- The treatment of schizophrenia depends on the phase of illness: acute, chronic or recovered.
- Early detection of prodromal psychosis and initiation of treatment probably improves long term outcome.
- Schizophrenia is usually lifelong and requires ongoing antipsychotic medication.
- GPs have a vital role in managing patients with schizophrenia, providing physical treatment, monitoring medication and supporting patients and their carers. They work in partnership with specialist services.