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Efficacy of a Social Cognition Training Program for Schizophrenic Patients: A Pilot Study

  • David Gil Sanz (a1), Marián Diego Lorenzo (a1), Rosario Bengochea Seco (a1), Marta Arrieta Rodríguez (a1), Ismael Lastra Martínez (a2), Raúl Sánchez Calleja (a1) and Ana Álvarez Soltero (a1)...

Abstract

Psychosocial functioning impairment is recognized as a core feature of schizophrenia. Numerous studies have assessed the process that may underlie this impairment. In the last years, one of these processes that has been studied more is social cognition, which has been proposed as a mediator variable between neurocognition and functional outcome. Social cognition includes the subdomains of emotion recognition and social perception, and in recent years several authors have developed diverse training programs in these areas.

The purpose of the present article is to assess the efficacy of the Social Cognition Training Program, a program that includes emotion recognition training and social perception training. The sample was made up of 14 outpatients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia according to CIE-10 criteria, randomly divided into two groups: experimental and control. All patients were assessed before and after the training program. Cognitive and psychopathological variables, social functioning, emotion recognition and social perception performance were assessed. Results suggest improvement in social perception and interpretation in the experimental group, in comparison with the control group, but not in emotion recognition. No significant correlations were obtained between social cognition training and other variables tested.

El deterioro en el funcionamiento psicosocial es un rasgo característico de la esquizofrenia. Diferentes estudios han valorado los procesos que se relacionan con este deterioro, destacando el papel de la cognición social como variable mediadora entre la neurocognición y el desempeño funcional de los pacientes con esquizofrenia. Dentro de la cognición social, dos de las áreas más estudiadas han sido la percepción de emociones y la percepción social, desarrollándose diferentes programas de entrenamiento en estas áreas.

El presente artículo tiene como objetivo valorar la eficacia del Programa de Entrenamiento en Cognición Social, un programa que combina el entrenamiento en percepción de emociones y percepción social. La muestra estuvo compuesta por catorce pacientes, diagnosticados de esquizofrenia según criterios CIE-10, asignados de manera aleatoria a dos grupos: experimental y control. Todos los pacientes fueron valorados al inicio y al final del entrenamiento. Se evaluó el rendimiento en percepción de emociones y percepción social, así como variables cognitivas, psicopatológicas y de funcionamiento social. El grupo experimental obtuvo una mejora en percepción social en comparación con el grupo control, pero no en percepción de emociones. El entrenamiento en cognición social no tuvo ningún efecto significativo en las demás variables valoradas.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to David Gil, Centro de Rehabilitación Psicosocial Padre Menni, C/Andrés del Río, 7 bajo. 39004 Santander (Spain). E-mail: crpsant@mennisant.com

References

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