The efficacy of therapeutic communities has been investigated in a number of populations. The main ones have been the overlapping populations of offenders, drug abusers, and personality disorders. For clarity they will be discussed separately. The efficacy of therapeutic communities for acute schizophrenia has been the subject of two randomized controlled trials. While many therapeutic communities have been established for people suffering from long-term mental illness, and a number for children and adolescents, these have generally been the subject of qualitative evaluation or simple description. While relatively few randomized controlled trials have been carried out in therapeutic communities and their limitations in this area of research are known, (19> a recent systematic review of randomized controlled trials and other controlled studies has confirmed the findings of a number of correlational studies that therapeutic communities are one of the very few effective ways of treating people with personality disorders.

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