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Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training for Youth at Risk of Psychosis

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT02234258
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : September 9, 2014
Last Update Posted : May 24, 2022
The Zucker Hillside Hospital
University of California, San Diego
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Jean Addington, PhD, University of Calgary

Brief Summary:
Schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders are serious and debilitating mental illnesses that incur substantial suffering for patients and major challenges to the investigators health care and legal systems. The prodrome is the period prior to onset of psychosis when functional decline and clinical symptoms gradually emerge. The presence of a clinical high-risk (CHR) syndrome in young adults is associated with heightened risk (25-35%) for the later development of psychosis, and for those who do not necessarily go on to develop a psychotic illness, research has suggested that the majority continue to have fluctuating subthreshold symptoms and poor social and role functioning. There are no specific treatments to help with these functional difficulties. However, recent findings suggest that in people with schizophrenia, Cognitive Behavioral and Social Skills Training (CBSST) leads to significantly greater increase in the frequency of social functioning activities compared to treatment as usual or goal-focused supportive therapy, and preliminary data suggest CBSST is a feasible treatment for CHR. This proposal is a competitive application for a three-site, longitudinal study aimed at testing the effectiveness and feasibility as well as mediators and mechanisms of action of a manualized CBSST intervention that will target functional difficulties associated with clinical risk states for psychosis. The goals are 1) to examine whether CBSST compared to a placebo intervention (psychoeducation) matched for group involvement and therapist time improves functioning in youth at CHR and 2) to determine whether reduction in defeatist beliefs and improvement in social competence mediate change in psychosocial functioning in CHR youth in the CBSST. In this single-blind randomized 2-arm trial participants will be randomized to one of two treatments: CBSST, an 18-week group comprised of three modules; 1) Cognitive Skills; 2) Social Skills; and 3) Problem Solving, or a psychoeducation support group that does not teach active cognitive behavioral therapy or social skills training. Over a five-year period, the multi-site collaboration will follow large CHR sample that will undergo comprehensive assessments of psychosocial and behavioral changes, to examine changes in social and role functioning, as well as symptom changes from baseline to the end of treatment, and to 6 month follow-up. This approach will demonstrate the feasibility of a treatment for which it is easy to train therapists and which can readily be disseminated to regular clinical community practice. In addition, it will provide insights into likely approaches to halting or mitigating the pathological process and advance the investigators understanding of risk prediction; both critical steps in prevention.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
At Risk of Psychosis Behavioral: Cognitive behavioral social skills Behavioral: Psychoeducation Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 203 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training for Youth at Risk of Psychosis
Study Start Date : January 2015
Actual Primary Completion Date : August 2021
Actual Study Completion Date : August 2021

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Cognitive behavioral social skills
In Cognitive behavioral social skills training (CBSST), skills-based CBT is used to teach individuals how to correct inaccurate dysfunctional thoughts that interfere with goal-directed activities, including defeatist expectancies, low self-efficacy beliefs, and anomalous beliefs. SST focuses on behaviorally-based instruction of interpersonal social skills, utilizing role-modeling, rehearsal, corrective feedback, and positive reinforcement to facilitate learning. In the modified version of CBSST used in this project: 1) we will strengthen the focus on corrective feedback from successful social interactions; 2) focus on normalization and destigmatization of attenuated psychotic symptoms; 3) add motivational interviewing techniques to promote treatment engagement; and 4) use examples and role plays. CBSST will be delivered in three 6-session modules (i.e., Cognitive Skills, Social Skills, and Problem Solving Skills), a total of 18 90-minute group sessions.
Behavioral: Cognitive behavioral social skills
Active Comparator: Psychoeducation
The purpose of this alternative treatment is to match CBSST for the nonspecific effects of therapist contact and interest, social interaction and support. Common factors include client expectancy, providing a rationale for change, therapist factors and therapeutic alliance. The psychoeducation group will meet weekly, for a total of 18 90-minute sessions. Therapists will follow brief guidelines as to what they can and cannot do. In each session the therapists will ask how the previous week had been. Any crises will be dealt with, and advice will be offered to help with any immediate problems. No active CBT or SST techniques will be taught or used. Psychoeducational information about high risk for psychosis will be offered. There will be a focus on listening, reflecting and empathizing, and demonstrating uncritical acceptance and genuineness. Social exchanges amongst participants will be encouraged.
Behavioral: Psychoeducation

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in the Global Social Functioning Scale [ Time Frame: 6 and 12 months ]
    This is a clinical rating scale that will be given to all participants at baseline, then 6 months which is the end of treatment and then 6 months after the end of treatment so approximately 12 months after baseline to determine if there is an improvement in social functioning

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Defeatist Beliefs [ Time Frame: 6 and 12 months ]
    This is a clinical rating scale that will be administer at the end of treatment (6 months) and 6 months after the end of treatment (12 months). This will be administered to all participants

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   14 Years to 30 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • have prodromal criteria in the past 4 years
  • one attenuated psychotic symptom rated 3 or more
  • rating on social functioning <6

Exclusion Criteria:

  • meet criteria for a psychotic disorder neurological disorder IQ<70

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT02234258

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Canada, Alberta
Mathison Centre for Research and Education, University of Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N4Z6
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Calgary
The Zucker Hillside Hospital
University of California, San Diego
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Principal Investigator: Jean M Addington, PhD University of Calgary
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Responsible Party: Jean Addington, PhD, Dr Jean Addington, University of Calgary Identifier: NCT02234258    
Other Study ID Numbers: MH105178
First Posted: September 9, 2014    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: May 24, 2022
Last Verified: May 2022
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Psychotic Disorders
Mental Disorders
Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders