Christoph Lauber

Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland

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Publications (110)436.57 Total impact

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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Negative symptoms of schizophrenia have a severe impact on functional outcomes and treatment options are limited. Arts therapies are currently recommended but more evidence is required. Aims: To assess body psychotherapy as a treatment for negative symptoms compared with an active control (trial registration: ISRCTN84216587). Method: Schizophrenia out-patients were randomised into a 20-session body psychotherapy or Pilates group. The primary outcome was negative symptoms at end of treatment. Secondary outcomes included psychopathology, functional, social and treatment satisfaction outcomes at treatment end and 6-months later. Results: In total, 275 participants were randomised. The adjusted difference in negative symptoms was 0.03 (95% CI -1.11 to 1.17), indicating no benefit from body psychotherapy. Small improvements in expressive deficits and movement disorder symptoms were detected in favour of body psychotherapy. No other outcomes were significantly different. Conclusions: Body psychotherapy does not have a clinically relevant beneficial effect in the treatment of patients with negative symptoms of schizophrenia.
    Full-text · Article · May 2016 · The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with a psychiatric illness have a higher prevalence of physical diseases and thus a higher morbidity and mortality.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · International Journal of Social Psychiatry
  • C. Lauber
    No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present study evaluated a new integrated treatment concept offering inpatient care, acute psychiatric day hospital and outpatient treatment by the same therapeutic team. 178 patients participated in this randomized controlled trial. Data on psychopathology, global and social functioning, patient satisfaction, continuity of care and administrative data was gathered on admission, throughout the course of treatment, upon discharge and at 1-year follow-up. In addition, the physicians in charge rated the therapeutic relationship. The data analysis consists of group-wise comparisons and regression analyses (cross-tabulations and χ(2) test statistics for categorical data and Mann-Whitney U tests for continuous data). Differences between groups over time were analyzed with a series of generalized linear mixed model. The integrated care group showed a significant reduction in psychopathological impairment (20.7 %) and an improvement of psychosocial functioning (36.8 %). The mean number of days before re-admission was higher in the control group when compared to the integrated care group (156.8 vs. 91.5). There was no difference in the number of re-admissions and days spent in psychiatric institutions. This new approach offers a treatment model, which facilitates continuity of care. Beside it improves psychopathological outcome measures and psychosocial functioning in patients with mental illness.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · Psychiatric Quarterly
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To test whether offering financial incentives to patients with psychotic disorders is effective in improving adherence to maintenance treatment with antipsychotics. Cluster randomised controlled trial. Community mental health teams in secondary psychiatric care in the United Kingdom. Patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder, who were prescribed long acting antipsychotic (depot) injections but had received 75% or less of the prescribed injections. We randomly allocated 73 teams with a total of 141 patients. Primary outcome data were available for 35 intervention teams with 75 patients (96% of randomised) and for 31 control teams with 56 patients (89% of randomised). Participants in the intervention group were offered £15 (€17; $22) for each depot injection over a 12 month period. Participants in the control condition received treatment as usual. The primary outcome was the percentage of prescribed depot injections given during the 12 month intervention period. 73 teams with 141 consenting patients were randomised, and outcomes were assessed for 131 patients (93%). Average baseline adherence was 69% in the intervention group and 67% in the control group. During the 12 month trial period adherence was 85% in the intervention group and 71% in the control group. The adjusted effect estimate was 11.5% (95% confidence interval 3.9% to 19.0%, P=0.003). A secondary outcome was an adherence of ≥95%, which was achieved in 28% of the intervention group and 5% of the control group (adjusted odds ratio 8.21, 95% confidence interval 2.00 to 33.67, P=0.003). Although differences in clinician rated clinical improvement between the groups failed to reach statistical significance, patients in the intervention group had more favourable subjective quality of life ratings (β=0.71, 95% confidence interval 0.26 to 1.15, P=0.002). The number of admissions to hospital and adverse events were low in both groups and did not show substantial differences. Offering modest financial incentives to patients with psychotic disorders is an effective method for improving adherence to maintenance treatment with antipsychotics. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN77769281.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · BMJ (online)
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A high proportion of people with severe mental health problems are unemployed but would like to work. Individual Placement and Support(IPS) offers a promising approach to establishing people in paid employment. In a randomized controlled trial across six European countries, we investigated the economic case for IPS for people with severe mental health problems compared to standard vocational rehabilitation. Individuals (n5312) were randomized to receive either IPS or standard vocational services and followed for 18 months. Service use and outcome data were collected. Cost-effectiveness analysis was conducted with two primary outcomes: additional days worked in competitive settings and additional percentage of individuals who worked at least 1 day. Analyses distinguished country effects. A partial cost-benefit analysis was also conducted. IPS produced better outcomes than alternative vocational services at lower cost overall to the health and social care systems. This pattern also held in disaggregated analyses for five of the six European sites. The inclusion of imputed values for missing cost data supported these findings. IPS would be viewed as more cost-effective than standard vocational services. Further analysis demonstrated cost-benefit arguments for IPS. Compared to standard vocational rehabilitation services, IPS is, therefore, probably cost-saving and almost certainly more cost-effective as a way to help people with severe mental health problems into competitive employment.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · World psychiatry: official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA)
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Negative symptoms of schizophrenia are frequently associated with poor long term outcomes. Established interventions have little, if any, positive effects on negative symptoms. Arts Therapies such as Body Psychotherapy (BPT) have been suggested to reduce negative symptoms, but the existing evidence is limited. In a small exploratory trial a manualised form of group BPT led to significantly lower negative symptom levels both at the end of treatment and at 4 months follow-up as compared to supportive counseling. We designed a large multi-site trial to assess the effectiveness of a manualised BPT intervention in reducing negative symptoms, compared to an active control. Methods/Design In a randomised controlled trial, 256 schizophrenic outpatients with negative symptoms will be randomly allocated either to BPT or Pilates groups. In both conditions, patients will be offered two 90 minutes sessions per week in groups of about 8 patients over a period of 10 weeks. Outcomes are assessed at the end of treatment and at six months follow-up. The primary outcome is severity of negative symptoms, as measured by the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale (PANSS), whilst a range of secondary outcome measures include general psychopathology, social contacts, and quality of life. We will also assess the cost-effectiveness of the intervention. Discussion The study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a promising form of group therapy which may help alleviate negative symptoms that are associated with unfavourable long-term outcomes and have so far been difficult to treat. If the trial is successful, it will add a new and effective option in the treatment of negative symptoms. Group BPT is manualised, might be attractive to many patients because of its unusual approach, and could potentially be rolled out to services at relatively little additional cost. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN84216587
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · BMC Psychiatry
  • Claudia Hallett · Günter Klug · Christoph Lauber · Stefan Priebe
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background Much of the literature to date concerning public attitudes towards people with severe mental illness (SMI) has focused on negative stereotypes and discriminatory behaviour. However, there also exists a tradition of volunteering with these people, implying a more positive attitude. Groups with positive attitudes and behaviours towards people with SMI have received relatively little attention in research. They merit further attention, as evidence on characteristics and experiences of volunteers may help to promote volunteering. The present paper aims to systematically review the literature reporting characteristics, motivations, experiences, and benefits of volunteers in the care of people with SMI. Methods In November 2010, a systematic electronic search was carried out in BNI, CINAHL, Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, Cochrane Registers and Web of Science databases, using a combination of ‘volunteer’, ‘mental health’ and ‘outcome’ search terms. A secondary hand search was performed in relevant psychiatric journals, grey literature and references. Results 14 papers met the inclusion criteria for the review, with data on a total of 540 volunteers. The results suggest that volunteers are a mostly female, but otherwise heterogeneous group. Motivations for volunteering are a combination of what they can ‘give’ to others and what they can ‘get’ for themselves. Overall volunteers report positive experiences. The main benefit to persons with a psychiatric illness is the gaining of a companion, who is non-stigmatizing and proactive in increasing their social-community involvement. Conclusions The evidence base for volunteers in care of people with SMI is small and inconsistent. However there are potential implications for both current and future volunteering programmes from the data. As the data suggests that there is no ‘typical’ volunteer, volunteering programmes should recruit individuals from a variety of backgrounds. The act of volunteering can not only benefit people with SMI, but also the volunteers. Further research may specify methods of recruiting, training, supervising and using volunteers to maximise the benefit for all involved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · BMC Psychiatry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective: People with psychiatric diseases have a severely increased risk for physical morbidity and premature death from physical diseases. The aims of the study were to investigate the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), diabetes (DM) and obesity in schizophrenia and depression in three different geographical areas - Asia (Japan), Africa (Nigeria) and Western Europe (Switzerland, Germany and Denmark) - and to search for possible transcultural differences in these correlations, which would also reflect the differences between low-income areas in Africa (Nigeria) and high-income areas in Europe and Japan. Method: Patients with International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) F2 diseases (schizophrenia spectrum disorders) and F3 diseases (affective disorders) admitted to one Nigerian, one Japanese, two Swiss, two German and six Danish centres during 1 year were included. Physical diseases in accordance with ICD-10 were also registered. Psychiatric and physical comorbidity were calculated and standardized rate ratio incidences of background populations were our primary measures. Results: Incidence rate ratios were increased for both CVD, DM and overweight in both F2 and F3 in all cultures (Western Europe, Nigeria and Japan) within the same ranges (however, the Japanese results should be interpreted conservatively owing to the limited sample size). Overweight among the mentally ill were marked in Nigeria. A parallelism of the incidence of overweight, CVD and diabetes with the occurrence in background populations was seen and was most marked in overweight. Conclusions: Overweight, CVD and DM were increased in schizophrenia spectrum disorders and affective disorders in all three cultures investigated (Western Europe, Nigeria and Japan). Lifestyle diseases were also seen in Nigeria and Japan. The results from this study indicate that cultural background might be seen as an important factor in dealing with lifestyle diseases among people with a severe mental illness, as it is in the general population.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Physical comorbidities and substance use are commonly reported in patients with mental disorders. AIM: To examine somatic comorbidity in patients with substance use disorders (SUD) compared to patients with mental disorders but no SUD. METHODS: Lifetime prevalence data on mental and physical health status were collected from inpatients in 12 mental health care facilities in five different countries. Differences in somatic comorbidity were examined by means of logistic regression analysis controlling for age and gender. RESULTS: Of 2,338 patients, 447 (19%) had a primary or secondary SUD diagnosis. In comparison to patients with other mental disorders, patients with SUD had a higher prevalence of infectious and digestive diseases but a lower prevalence of endocrine, nutritional and metabolic disorders. Patterns of physical comorbidities differed according to type of substance used (alcohol use - cardiovascular; tobacco use - respiratory, neoplasms; cannabinoid use - injuries; opioid use - infectious, digestive; benzodiazepine use - endocrine, nutritional, metabolic; stimulants - urogenital). CONCLUSIONS: SUD are related to specific somatic health risks while some of our findings point to potentially protective effects. The widespread prescription of benzodiazepines requires research on physical health effects. Early detection of SUD and their integration into programmes targeting physical comorbidity should be a priority in organizing mental health care.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2012 · International Journal of Social Psychiatry
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous research has shown that a better therapeutic relationship (TR) predicts more positive attitudes towards antipsychotic medication, but did not address whether it is also linked with actual adherence. This study investigated whether the TR is associated with adherence to antipsychotics in patients with schizophrenia. 134 clinicians and 507 of their patients with schizophrenia or a related psychotic disorder participated in a European multi-centre study. A logistic regression model examined how the TR as rated by patients and by clinicians is associated with medication adherence, adjusting for clinician clustering and symptom severity. Patient and clinician ratings of the TR were weakly inter-correlated (r(s) = 0.13, p = 0.004), but each was independently linked with better adherence. After adjusting for patient rated TR and symptom severity, each unit increase in clinician rated TR was associated with an increase of the odds ratio of good compliance by 65.9% (95% CI: 34.6% to 104.5%). After adjusting for clinician rated TR and symptom severity, for each unit increase in patient rated TR the odds ratio of good compliance was increased by 20.8% (95% CI: 4.4% to 39.8%). A better TR is associated with better adherence to medication among patients with schizophrenia. Patients' and clinicians' perspectives of the TR are both important, but may reflect distinct aspects.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hope is an important variable in mental health, particularly in the emergent field of recovery- and wellbeing-focused research. This study validates the "Integrative Hope Scale" (IHS) for use in people with severe mental illness. Two hundred participants diagnosed with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were assessed using the IHS, the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale, and the Positive and Negative Symptom Scale. Sixty participants were re-assessed after 14days to establish re-test reliability. Confirmatory factor analysis was carried out, correlations between the scales and kappa coefficients were used to establish validity and reliability. The factor analysis confirmed a four-factor solution with excellent model fit, after minor modifications to the initial model. Discriminant validity and internal consistency were excellent. Test-retest reliability was good except for one item. This study suggests the scale to be a valid, reliable and feasible tool for the assessment of hope in people with severe mental illness. It provides a sound basis for future research on hope in mental health. For use in people with psychosis, we suggest some minor modifications to the scale.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Psychiatry Research
  • Christoph Lauber
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica
  • Christoph Lauber
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Psychiatrische Praxis
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Positive relationships between employment and clinical status have been found in several studies. However, an unequivocal interpretation of these relationships is difficult on the basis of common statistical methods. In this analysis, a structural equation model approach for longitudinal data was applied to identify the direction of statistical relationships between hours worked, clinical status and days in psychiatric hospital in 312 persons with schizophrenia who participated in a multi-centre randomised controlled trial comparing the effectiveness of Individual Placement and Support (IPS) with conventional vocational services in six study settings across Europe. Data were analysed by an autoregressive cross-lagged effects model, an autoregressive cross-lagged model with random intercepts and an autoregressive latent trajectory model. Comparison of model fit parameters suggested the autoregressive cross-lagged effects model to be the best approach for the given data structure. All models indicated that patients who received an IPS intervention spent more hours in competitive employment and, due to indirect positive effects of employment on clinical status, spent fewer days in psychiatric hospitals than patients who received conventional vocational training. Results support the hypothesis that the IPS intervention has positive effects not only on vocational but also on clinical outcomes in patients with schizophrenia.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Social Psychiatry
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: The Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) were developed to assess the severity of a mental illness. They are used as outcome measures in different countries, and are meanwhile translated from the original English version into many languages, among others into German (HoNOS-D). We conducted a study in order to estimate the concurrent validity and sensitivity to change using clinical parameters as ICD-10 diagnoses, as well as the Clinical Global Impression Scale (CGI), and the Association for Methodology and Documentation in Psychiatry (AMDP) psychopathology scale, a frequently used psychopathological rating system, in a representative clinical sample. Sampling and methods: Data on the three instruments (CGI, AMDP, HoNOS-D) were collected at admission and discharge of 100 psychiatric inpatients using a representative clinical sample. Experienced clinicians completed the CGI, AMDP and HoNOS-D. Descriptive and comparative data analyses were performed. We estimated the concurrent validity by calculating correlations between the HoNOS and other scales. Secondly, we examined the differences between HoNOS scores related to diagnoses and demographic parameters. Thirdly we calculated change criteria and outcome effect size for the HoNOS. Results: Even in a small clinical sample (n = 100), the HoNOS-D items are highly correlated with the corresponding AMDP syndromes (p < 0.003). The HoNOS-D score is associated with the CGI score (p < 0.01). Correlations of HoNOS symptoms, behavior and impairment items with AMDP syndromes as well as differences in diagnoses were appropriate and comprehensible as regards clinical content, and change on the HoNOS total score is statistically significant (t = 6.57, d.f. = 89, p < 0.0001). Conclusion: This study is the first to investigate the concurrent validity of HoNOS-D concerning psychopathology using the AMDP rating system in a clinical sample of patients with mental disorders in an inpatient setting. HoNOS-D can be recommended for routinely screening outcomes in inpatient psychiatric settings. Our analysis showed that HoNOS-D covers psychopathology corresponding to the AMDP rating system. A limitation of the study is that the study sample comprised only an inpatient population; there may well be differences compared to an outpatient sample.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2011 · Psychopathology
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effectiveness of psychosocial interventions in community mental healthcare has been shown to depend on the setting in which they are implemented. Recently structured patient-clinician communication was found to be effective in a multi-centre trial in six European countries, the DIALOG trial. In the overall study, differences between centres were controlled for, not studied. Here, we test whether the effectiveness of structured patient-clinician communication varies between services in different countries, and explore setting characteristics associated with outcome. The study is part of the DIALOG trial, which included 507 patients with schizophrenia or related disorder, treated by 134 keyworkers. The keyworkers were allocated to intervention or treatment as usual. Positive effects were found on quality of life (effect size 0.20: 95% CI 0.01-0.39) and treatment satisfaction (0.27: 0.06-0.47) in all centres, but reductions in unmet needs for care were only seen in two centres (-0.83 and -0.60), and in positive, negative and general symptoms in one (-0.87, -0.78, -0.87). The intervention was most effective in settings with patient populations with many unmet needs for care and high symptom levels. Psychosocial interventions in community mental healthcare may not be assumed to have uniform effectiveness across settings. Differences in patient population served and mental healthcare provided, should be studied for their influence on the effectiveness of the intervention. Structured patient-clinician communication has a uniform effect on quality of life and treatment satisfaction, but on unmet needs for care and symptom levels its effect differs between mental healthcare settings.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Social Psychiatry
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    Full-text · Article · Jan 2011
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapeutic relationships between clients and vocational rehabilitation workers have been shown to predict entering competitive employment. We aimed to determine predictors of good relationships, using data from an international randomized controlled trial of supported employment (n=312). Baseline predictors of early therapeutic relationships with vocational workers were assessed, along with the impact of vocational status and changing clinical and social functioning variables on relationship ratings over time. Associations between client and professional relationship ratings were also explored. Better early client-rated therapeutic relationship was predicted by better baseline relationship with the clinical keyworker, being in the Individual Placement and Support (IPS) service, the absence of work history and a greater proportion of care needs being met, whereas over time it was predicted by being in the IPS service. Professional-rated early relationship was predicted by social disability and remission, while over time it was predicted by being the same sex as the client, duration of the relationship and the client's increasing anxiety. Client and professional ratings were positively associated but clients' ratings were higher than professionals', particularly in the IPS service. Relationships were better where clients may have been more motivated to engage, including by their prior experience of a good therapeutic relationship with the clinical keyworker. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Psychiatry Research
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is limited information available about the mental health of female sex workers. Therefore, we aimed to make a comprehensive assessment of the mental status of female sex workers over different outdoors and indoors work settings and nationalities. As the prerequisites of a probability sampling were not given, a quota-sampling strategy was the best possible alternative. Sex workers were contacted at different locations in the city of Zurich. They were interviewed with a computerized version of the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview. Additional information was assessed in a structured face-to-face interview. The 193 interviewed female sex workers displayed high rates of mental disorders. These mental disorders were related to violence and the subjectively perceived burden of sex work. Sex work is a major public health problem. It has many faces, but ill mental health of sex workers is primarily related to different forms of violence.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica

Publication Stats

3k Citations
436.57 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • Zurich University of Applied Sciences
      • School of Applied Psychology
      Winterthur, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 2008
    • University of Liverpool
      Liverpool, England, United Kingdom
  • 2007
    • Psychiatrische Universitätsklinik Zürich
      Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland