The impact of social cognition training on recovery from psychosis

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Social cognition training is an emerging intervention, which aims to ameliorate impairment in social interaction and improve functional outcomes in persons with a psychosis. This article reviews the research conducted on the impact of this intervention published in English language journals over the past 2 years.

Recent findings

Social cognition training comprises three types of programs; targeted, broad-based, and comprehensive – targeted programs being the most effective. Programs largely focus on the domains of facial affect, or emotion recognition (FAR), Theory of Mind (ToM), and attributional bias. There is some evidence that ToM is amenable to change, but not FAR and attributional bias.

Summary

Interventions designed to ameliorate impairment in social functioning largely involve a skills training laboratory model underpinned by social learning theory. The evidence for the effectiveness of current social cognition training strategies to improve functional outcome for persons with psychosis in general and schizophrenia in particular remains equivocal. Clearly, further work is required beyond the laboratory training model and future research may well benefit from the inclusion of longitudinal naturalistic studies.

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