Social perception training in schizophrenia: A pilot study

Fuentes, Inmaculada; Garc�a, Sonia; Ruiz, Juan Carlos; Soler, M� Jos�; Roder, Volker
April 2007
International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy;2007, Vol. 7 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Social cognition has been recognized as one of the key cognitive factors that is impaired in schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility of improvements in social perception, which is a key component of social cognition, in chronically ill patients. Eighteen schizophrenic outpatients were randomly assigned to therapy and control groups. The patients in the therapy group followed the social perception subprogram of IPT. The patients' performance in social perception was assessed before the intervention, after the intervention and at the end of a six-month follow-up period, using a scale that was specifically developed to assess social perception (Social Perception Scale --SPS). The results indicate that it can differentiate between the group that followed the therapy program and the control group. Attention, psychopathology and social functioning were also evaluated. Although only a small group of patients participated in the study, the results are promising. They suggest improvements in the social perception abilities that were trained using the IPT program in the therapy group in comparison with the control group. The patients in the therapy group improved their ability to identify stimuli and to interpret and summarise information in a picture.


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