Abstract

In the Texas Medication Algorithm Project (TMAP), patients were given algorithm-guided treatment (ALGO) or treatment as usual (TAU). The ALGO intervention included a clinical coordinator to assist the physicians and administer a patient and family education program. The primary comparison in the schizophrenia module of TMAP was between patients seen in clinics in which ALGO was used (n=165) and patients seen in clinics in which no algorithms were used (n=144). A third group of patients, seen in clinics using an algorithm for bipolar or major depressive disorder but not for schizophrenia, was also studied (n=156). The ALGO group had modestly greater improvement in symptoms (Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale) during the first quarter of treatment. The TAU group caught up by the end of 12 months. Cognitive functions were more improved in ALGO than in TAU at 3 months, and this difference was greater at 9 months (the final cognitive assessment). In secondary comparisons of ALGO with the second TAU group, the greater improvement in cognitive functioning was again noted, but the initial symptom difference was not significant.