An Uncontrolled Trial of Multi-Component Care for First-Episode Psychosis: Effects on Social Cognition

Poster A64, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Nicholas J. K. Breitborde1,2, Aubrey M. Moe1, Cindy Woolverton3, Patricia Harrison-Monroe4, Emily K. Bell4; 1Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICENTER), Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, The Ohio State University, 2Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, 3Department of Psychology, The University of Arizona, 4Early Psychosis Intervention Center (EPICENTER), Department of Psychiatry, University of Arizona

Growing evidence suggests that specialized, multi-component treatment programs produce improvements in numerous outcomes among individuals with first-episode psychosis. However, many of these programs lack interventions specifically designed to address deficits in social cognition. This raises questions about the effectiveness of such programs in addressing the deficits in social cognition that accompany psychotic disorders. We investigated the effects of a multi-component treatment package that lacks a component specifically targeting social cognitive deficits on measures of social cognition among 71 individuals with first-episode psychosis. Among our sample, individuals experienced gains in two domains of social cognition (i.e., theory of mind and social perception) despite not participating in interventions specifically designed to address these abilities. Although these findings should be interpreted cautiously given our uncontrolled study design and the possibility of practice effects, the conclusion that social cognition was improved by our multi-component treatment package comports with evidence suggesting that social cognitive abilities remain stable over time among individuals with psychosis in the absence of intervention. Consequently, our results raise important questions for the ever growing international network of multi-component treatment programs for first-episode psychosis—the majority of which do not provide interventions that specifically target social cognitive deficits.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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