With the object of finding fresh approaches to the psychopharmacological study of schizophrenia, the problems of research design, ward setting, drug-patient-milieu interactions and observational techniques were investigated in a longitudinal, double-blind study of haloperidol in ten acute schizophrenics. A ‘model ward’ was established to provide a structured, reality-oriented milieu and a ward staff questionnaire was used to monitor the milieu. The patient behavior was repeatedly measured through the use of psychopathology scales as well as a series of specially designed ‘life-functions rating scales’. Several valuable insights into the therapeutic process were gained and some interesting hypotheses concerning the nature of schizophrenic disorder were suggested. These included:a nontherapeutic interaction between the neuroleptic and anti-Parkinsonism treatment which was reflected in the whole therapeutic milieu; differences in the course of changes in cognitive dysfunctions and social avoidance behavior, with the latter being selectively increased by anti-Parkinsonism medication; considerable residual deficits in the cognitive as well as social functions after treatment, and the suggestion that both these derangements might reflect fundamental developmental defects. These and other observations indicated that the research strategies we had used had been fruitful.

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