Metacognitive Training in Early Psychosis in Singapore: Preliminary Findings and Considerations

Poster A71, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Derina Chong1, Charlene Hon1, Shahrin Begum Binte Ali1; 1Institute of Mental Health

Cognitive biases, such as jumping to conclusions have consistently been found to play a key role in the formation and/or maintenance of psychosis, particularly in delusional beliefs. Metacognitive training (MCT) was developed to target these cognitive biases and was demonstrated to be efficacious in reducing the severity and conviction of delusions in people in schizophrenia (Moritz & Woodward, 2007; Moritz et al, 2011). However, the usefulness and applicability of the MCT program for young people with early psychosis in Singapore have yet to be investigated. The MCT program was modified and supplemented to suit the Singapore context and to adapt to the younger age group of people with early psychosis. Participants completed pre and post measures of their mood and anxiety levels, cognitive insight and flexibility, self-esteem, cognitive biases, and MCT satisfaction evaluation measures. Preliminary findings showed trends towards improvements in subjective appraisals of participants’ cognitive biases and in mood, anxiety and self-esteem levels post MCT. The program was also rated highly on subjective efficacy. The MCT program increased the participants’ insight into and improved their cognitive biases albeit the challenge of translating it to real-life situations without individualized support. Having an informal, fun, safe, and nonjudgmental environment during MCT also facilitated the learning process of the group. In conclusion, the modified MCT program was well-received and appraised to help improve cognitive biases in young people with early psychosis. Future research will focus on the quantitative and long-term outcomes of MCT.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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