Social skills training for individuals with schizophrenia: Evaluation of treatment outcome and acquisition of social and cognitive skills.
Description: Social and cognitive skill acquisition were evaluated in 33 (male=24, female=11) outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. A social skills training treatment group (n=19) was compared to a wait-list control (n=14). Participants' mean age was 41 years, mean number of hospitalizations 10.4, and mean number of years with diagnosis 15.8. Assessment measures included WAIS-III Picture Arrangement subtest, Social Cue Recognition Test, COGLAB, WMS-III Word List subtest, and SADS-C. Results did not support the main hypotheses of improved social and cognitive skills in the treatment group. Participants with better memory and attention at pre-testing also did not show an advantage in social skills improvement. Contrary to hypotheses, the control group improved the most on some social and cognitive measures. Several supplemental hypotheses yielded the following results: lack of volunteer participation from paranoid schizophrenia individuals; evidence that schizoaffective disorder participants may be less cognitively impaired and better able to benefit from social skills training; and younger, less chronic participants with better attentional capacities may benefit most from social skills training. Findings are discussed in light of the possibility that improving social skills might not improve social and cognitive functioning, at least with the dosage of social skills training provided in this study. Limitations such as a sampling bias and small study size are also considered as possible explanations for the pattern of findings. Clinical and research implications are discussed to apply and extend the current findings.
Date: December 2004
Creator: Conner, Dianna Holden
Partner: UNT Libraries