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Patients and doctors often have divergent views on care needs.
To examine whether providing patients with an opportunity to identify and discuss their needs would improve communication and induce changes in care.
Patients with schizophrenia (n=134) were randomly allocated to either standard care or use of the Two-Way Communication Checklist (2-COM). Before seeing their clinician for a routine follow-up, participants in the active intervention group were given 2-COM, a list of 20 common needs, and told to indicate those areas they wanted to discuss with their doctor. Outcomes were assessed immediately and again after 6 weeks.
Using 2-COM induced a stable improvement of patient-reported quality of patient–doctor communication (B=0.33, P=0.031), and induced changes in management immediately after the intervention (OR=3.7, P=0.009; number needed to treat, 6). Treatment change was more likely in patients with more reported needs, and needs most likely to induce treatment change displayed stronger associations with non-medication than with medication changes.
A simple intervention to aid people in discussion of their needs results in improved communication and changes in management.
PET studies of verbal fluency in schizophrenia report a failure of ‘deactivation’ of left superior temporal gyrus (STG) in the presence of activation of left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which deficit has been attributed to underlying ‘functional disconnectivity’.
To test whether these findings provide trait-markers for schizophrenia.
We used H215O PET to examine verbal fluency in 10 obligate carriers of the predisposition to schizophrenia, 10 stable patients and 10 normal controls.
We found no evidence of a failure of left STG deactivation in carriers or patients. Instead, patients failed to deactivate the precuneus relative to other groups. We found no differences in functional connectivity between left DLPFC and left STG but patients exhibited significant disconnectivity between left DLPFC and anterior cingulate cortex.
Failure of left STG ‘deactivation’ and left fronto-temporal disconnectivity are not consistent findings in schizophrenia; neither are they trait-markers for genetic risk. Prefrontal functional disconnectivity here may characterise the schizophrenic phenotype.