Catatonia is a debilitating disorder of movement and volition associated with schizophrenia and some other mental disorders. People in a catatonic state have increased risk of secondary complications such as pneumonia, malnutrition and dehydration. The mainstay of treatment has been drug therapies and electroconvulsive therapy.
To compare the effects of benzodiazepines with other drugs, placebo or electroconvulsive therapy for people with catatonia.
We searched the Cochrane Schizophrenia Group Trials Register (March 2007) and manually searched reference lists from the selected studies.
All relevant randomised controlled clinical trials.
Data collection and analysis
We (RCG, GW) extracted data independently. For dichotomous data we would have calculated relative risks (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (CI) on an intention-to-treat basis using a fixed-effect model.
No studies could be included. We did find studies reporting no usable data that we had to exclude or assign to those awaiting assessment. These studies, although poorly reported, do illustrate that relevant studies have been undertaken, and are not impossible.
Studies have been justified and undertaken in the past. This justification remains as relevant as ever. Further studies with a high-quality methodology and reporting are required and it may be for countries where catatonia is seen often to take a lead in this area.