Advances in psychopharmacology and the development of new antipsychotic medications may represent increased opportunities for psychologists to provide expanded psychosocial services to patients with schizophrenia. The new agents, referred to as the atypical antipsychotics, are as efficacious as the older conventional antipsychotics but demonstrate a more favorable side effect profile. Preliminary data suggest improvements in cognitive deficits and negative symptoms typically associated with schizophrenia, which may enhance long-term outcome. Psychologists may be increasingly called on to provide psychosocial services to this population, thereby requiring that they have a sound working knowledge of the pharmacological and psychological properties of these agents.
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