Group Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention For Social Anxiety In First-Episode Psychosis

Presentation First Author: 
Tina Montreuil

Introduction: Anxiety symptoms in patients with schizophrenia have been traditionally overlooked. In the case of First Episode Psychosis (FEP), even fewer studies have examined this association. Current evidence points to the possibility that social anxiety may contribute to poor functional outcome, poor quality of life, unemployment, increased risk for relapse, hospitalization and suicide in FEP. Objective: This pilot study investigated the efficacy of a brief group-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), developed by us, for social anxiety designed to reduce symptoms of social anxiety in FEP. Method: Thirteen patients with schizophrenia and comorbid social anxiety attended a group-based cognitive behavior (CBGT) intervention. The CGBT was provided weekly for 14 weeks in 1.5-hour sessions. Baseline and post-treatment ratings of social anxiety were measured using the: Brief Social Phobia Scale, the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale; and Social Phobia Inventory. Pre- and post-treatment measures were subjected to statistical evaluation. Results: All outcome measures displayed significant improvements on all anxiety ratings in the intervention group. For the 3 measures, respectively, the results are: [t(12) = 3.96, p =.002], [t(12) = 3.12, p = .009], and [t(12) = 4.12, p = .001]. Conclusions: This brief manualized CBGT intervention was demonstrated to be an effective treatment of social anxiety symptoms in FEP and needs to be tested in a larger RCT.

Conference Name: 
Presentation Date: 
January, 2013
Additional Authors: 
Tina Montreuil, Ashok Malla, Jidha Joober, Claude BĂ©langer, Martin Lepage
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