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Review: Adding Chinese herbal medicine to antipsychotics may improve some outcomes in schizophrenia, but more high quality trials are needed

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John Rathbone

Cochrane Schizophrenia Group, Academic Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, University of Leeds, 15 Hyde Terrace, Leeds LS2 9LT, UK;



Is Chinese herbal medicine an effective treatment for schizophrenia?


Global state (Clinical Global Impression scale), mental state (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms), leaving the study early, adverse effects.



Systematic review and meta-analysis.

Data sources:

Cochrane Schizophrenia Group’s trial register, including searches of MEDLINE, CINAHL, BIOSIS Inside, EMBASE, CENTRAL and PsycINFO; Chinese Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System, China National Knowledge Infrastructure Database, Chinese Biomedical Database, and the Allied Complementary Medicine Database were searched in 2003. Hand searches of journals and conference proceedings were also carried out.

Study selection and analysis:

Randomised controlled trials (RCTs) in people with schizophrenia or related psychosis (any diagnostic criteria), using any Chinese herbal medicine in comparison with any other therapy. Trials were excluded if there was >50% loss to follow-up. Weighted mean differences for continuous data and relative risks for binary outcomes were calculated used fixed …

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  • Competing interests: None declared.