Worldwide, schizophrenia is one of the top 20 causes of disability. The lifetime prevalence of schizophrenia is estimated to be approximately 0.7%, although findings vary depending on the study location, demographic characteristics of the sample, the approach adopted for case finding, the method employed for diagnostic confirmation, and the diagnostic criteria used. Economic burdens associated with schizophrenia are high, with an estimated cost of more than $150 billion annually in the United States on the basis of 2013 data. Additional research since the second edition of the guideline has expanded our knowledge of the effective and evidence-based interventions available to help reduce the mortality, morbidity, and significant psychosocial and health consequences of this important psychiatric condition.
The American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline for the Treatment of Patients With Schizophrenia seeks to reduce these substantial psychosocial and public health consequences for the individuals affected by schizophrenia. The guideline focuses specifically on evidence-based pharmacological and nonpharmacological treatments for schizophrenia and includes statements related to assessment and treatment planning, which are an integral part of patient-centered care. The guideline provides direction on implementing these recommendations into clinical practice, with the goal of improving the quality of care and treatment outcomes for patients with schizophrenia.