Effects of combination pharmacotherapy and social skills training for schizophrenia: A randomized controlled trial


Pharmaco-psychosocial treatment (PPST) refers to a treatment paradigm combining pharmacotherapy with psychosocial therapy. We conducted an 18-month randomized controlled tracking study to evaluate the efficacy of social skills training (SST) in 11 individuals with schizophrenia on risperidone monotherapy. They were randomized to either SST or non-SST group, and Global Assessment Functioning (GAF) and Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) scores in the 2 groups showed gradual improvement. In the SST group, Digit Span Distraction Test (DSDT) at 12 and 18 months showed significant improvement. The Subjective Deficit Syndrome Scale (SDSS) scores in the SST group showed significant improvement after 6 months and showed a significant difference in comparison between the groups. After the subjective feeling of health was recovered, the items of motivation were recovered as a direct effect of SST. Some items of the Life Assessment Scale for the Mentally Ill (LASMI) score showed significant improvement (or significant trend) in only the SST group after 6 months. Items of daily life, work skills, and self-recognition were continuously improved. We report 2 cases in the SST group that had DSDT improvement in parallel with change of action and communication as a change of social function. This study is only exploratory due to the small number of cases. However, we have demonstrated potential improvement in cognitive function due to learning experiences that required working memory and attention, thus providing improvement in social life.

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Shimada, E. , Anzai, N. , Ikebuchi, E. , Niwa, S. and Nishizono, M. (2013) Effects of combination pharmacotherapy and social skills training for schizophrenia: A randomized controlled trial. Open Journal of Psychiatry, 3, 273-282. doi: 10.4236/ojpsych.2013.33026.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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