Pharmacotherapy of schizophrenia and affective disorders: Behavioral assessment of psychiatric medications

Alexander J. Rosen, Steven E. Tureff, John S. Lyons, John M. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objectively defined, publicly observable ward behaviors (body activity, extremity activity, scanning, social interaction, proximity, participation, laughing/smiling, and idiosyncratic behavior) emitted by psychiatric inpatients with either schizophrenic or affective disorders were time sampled both before and during the administration of psychiatric medications (neuroleptics, tricyclics, and lithium). The data indicate that the primary effects of the pharmacological interventions are confined to activity measures and symptoms rather than social behaviors. The implications of these results for treatment protocols are discussed in terms of interactions between pharmacological and psychosocial interventions. In addition, rates of behavior during treatment were related to baseline rates via a log-log function of negative slope, a result that is consistent with data derived from the infrahuman laboratories. Taken together the results provide support for attempts to relate preclinical and clinical psychopharmacology and suggest that behavioral assessment can be applied profitably to drug effects in clinical situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-148
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1981


  • affective disorder
  • behavioral observation
  • pharmacotherapy
  • psychopharmacology
  • rate dependence
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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