A total of 201 patients were recruited at four sites in the Netherlands and randomized to receive either cognitive-behavior therapy plus treatment as usual, or treatment as usual alone. (The cognitive-behavioral therapy was used as an add-on therapy because people were seeking help for a comorbid disorder.) The CBT was provided for 6 months, and the follow-up period was 18 months.
The CBT intervention is designed to address thoughts and ideas that are common to psychosis such as jumping to conclusions, selective attention to threatening stimuli, negative expectation bias and underrating of one’s capacities, and overrating the causal relationship between independent events.
Among patients receiving the CBT intervention, 10 transitioned to psychosis, compared with 22 who received only treatment as usual. At 18-month follow-up, the CBT group was significantly more often remitted from an at-risk mental state.
“In this group of UHR patients, a CBT intervention specifically targeting the appraisal of subclinical symptoms and teaching awareness of cognitive biases reduced the number of transitions to psychosis and increased the number of patients who no longer experience subclinical psychotic symptoms,” the authors state.
The study is posted here. For more information on this subject, see Psychiatric News here.
(Image: Andrea Michele Piacquadio/shutterstock.com)