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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 279-280
Schizophrenia: The Indian Scene

Professor of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029, India

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Date of Web Publication29-Oct-2011

How to cite this article:
Chadda RK. Schizophrenia: The Indian Scene. Indian J Psychiatry 2011;53:279-80

How to cite this URL:
Chadda RK. Schizophrenia: The Indian Scene. Indian J Psychiatry [serial online] 2011 [cited 2022 Dec 8];53:279-80. Available from:

Edited by Parmanand Kulhara, Ajit Avasthi and Sandeep Grover

Publisher name and Address: Psyprom, PGIMER, Chandigarh, 2 nd Edition 2010,

Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India.

Pages: 337, Price: Not mentioned

The book "Schizophrenia: The Indian Scene", edited by Professor P. Kulhara, Professor Ajit Avasthi and Dr. Sandeep Grover, and published by the Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, has come in its second edition. The first edition of the book, which was published in 1996, was based on the papers presented in a symposium on "Schizophrenia: The Indian Scene", held at Chandigarh. The book was received very well by the mental health professionals, and in fact was an essential reading for the postgraduate students in psychiatry and related disciplines, as well as for the mental health professions looking for Indian research in schizophrenia. The editors have worked hard in getting the various chapters updated from the original contributors, who are leading experts in the field. The second edition also has two new chapters entitled "Substance abuse and schizophrenia in Indian context" and "Impact of schizophrenia on caregivers: The Indian perspective".

One of the hallmarks of the book is the introductory chapter by the legendary Professor N. N. Wig. The chapter begins with a statement "No other developing country in Asia or Africa has contributed to psychiatric research, as India has in the last 35 years". The chapter first discusses the world scene in schizophrenia under various headings like its prevalence, etiology, diagnosis, course and outcome, neurobiology, and role of psychopharmacology, early interventions and psychosocial approaches in treatment. The second part summarizes the pioneering research in the country, especially in the areas of epidemiology, course and outcome, community care and social issues. The chapter suggests fighting the stigma associated with schizophrenia, taking psychiatric care to the community and better use of the existing technology as the key strategies to deal with the problem.

The second chapter is on the diagnosis and classification of schizophrenia authors discuss the current diagnostic trends as well as future directions besides the historical developments in the diagnosis and classification of schizophrenia. The chapter also touches upon the classification of psychiatric disorders as given in the ancient Indian texts. Dimensional approach, concepts of prodrome, positive and negative symptoms, issues of reliability and validity of diagnosis, and changes being proposed in future revisions have been appropriately discussed.

Epidemiology and community concepts have been aptly covered by Professor R. Srinavasa Murthy, one of the pioneers in community psychiatry from India. The chapter goes over 60 pages, discussing about the epidemiological studies, burden and disability due to schizophrenia, coping by the caregivers and needs of families. The role played by the National Mental Health Programme including its limitations has also been discussed. The issue of stigma due to the illness and strategies at reducing it have also been dealt with in detail by the author. The chapter also touches on the human rights issues and the role played by the NGO group in the field. The chapter also deliberates upon on issues of the caregiver burden and coping in schizophrenia, which is further covered in detail by Dr. Subho Chakrabarti in an exclusive chapter.

Biological research in schizophrenia from India is discussed in Chapter 4. Depression in schizophrenia, a common problem in patients with schizophrenia, which has important public health dimensions, has been discussed as a separate chapter. The chapter discusses the etiology of depression in schizophrenia, its identification and treatment.

India has been an important center in various multinational studies on schizophrenia like the International Pilot Study of Schizophrenia (IPSS), Determinants of the Outcome of Severe Mental Disorders (DOSMeD) and the International Study of Schizophrenia conducted by WHO. The topic has been deservingly discussed as an exclusive chapter. The chapter is supplemented by a number of tables. The topics of community-based rehabilitation and quality of life research in schizophrenia are also briefly touched in the chapter.

The chapter on substance use and schizophrenia in the Indian context is a welcome addition, considering the extent of comorbid substance use in schizophrenia and the popularity of the dual diagnosis clinics in the contemporary psychiatry. Relationship between Cannabis and psychosis is well known and there is lot of literature from India.

There are two chapters on management of schizophrenia, one on physical treatments and the other on psychosocial managements by Professor A. K. Agarwal and Professor Jacob John, respectively. An important part of the chapter on physical methods is a table giving approximate price of various antipsychotics in India, a crucial piece of knowledge, which every psychiatrist and postgraduate student in psychiatry needs to know. An equally important clinical issue of how to choose an antipsychotic and the adherence issues are also well covered by the author.

The concluding chapter of the book by Professor Kulhara and Dr. Grover discusses the course and outcome of schizophrenia, reviewing Indian research from a global perspective. The chapter begins with the follow-up studies of late 60s and early 70s, which went on in parallel with the WHO's hallmark IPSS study. Findings of the later follow-up studies funded by the WHO and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) are also discussed. Data from Agra, Chandigarh and Madras centers are also discussed in comparison with the data available also from the non-Euro-American countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, Colombia and Indonesia.

The book is very handy with over 300 pages. Price of the book is not mentioned. It is an excellent resource on Indian research in schizophrenia.

Correspondence Address:
Rakesh K Chadda
Professor of Psychiatry, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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