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Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599


This study will determine the effectiveness of social cognition and interaction training, a manual-based group therapy program, in helping people with schizophrenia improve their social cognition and social functioning.

Study summary:

Schizophrenia is a serious mental condition that affects approximately 1.1% of adults in the United States. People with schizophrenia experience reality perception impairments, which most commonly manifest as hallucinations, extreme paranoia, social withdrawal, and disordered thinking. Deficits in social functioning are a core feature of schizophrenia. In an effort to improve social functioning, there has been growing interest in identifying factors that underlie psychosocial impairments. One such identified factor has been neurocognition, but treatments that target solely cognitive processes do not always help overall social functioning. Social cognition and interaction training (SCIT), a group-based treatment that aims to improve both processing social information and functioning, may be an effective treatment for enhancing the social skills of people with schizophrenia. This study will compare the effectiveness of SCIT versus treatment as usual (TAU) in helping people with schizophrenia improve their social cognition and social functioning. Participation in this single-blind study will last 11 months. All potential participants will undergo initial screening, involving the completion of a few brief tasks testing social functioning. Eligible participants will then be randomly assigned to receive SCIT plus TAU or TAU alone. Participants assigned to receive SCIT will attend twenty 1-hour weekly group sessions over 5 months. During these sessions, participants will learn ways to manage emotions, work through problems, and integrate into social situations. Participants assigned to TAU alone will meet with their case managers and healthcare provider on an as-needed basis. All participants will undergo assessments of social cognition, social functioning, and psychotic symptoms prior to treatment, immediately post-treatment, and 6 months after treatment. Each assessment will last 3 hours and will include interviews, questionnaires, and a variety of tasks testing social skills. Researchers will also contact a family member or significant other about the participant's social functioning at the same three assessment times noted above.


Inclusion Criteria: - Meets DSM-IV criteria for schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, based on the Structured Interview of DSM-IV patient version (SCID-P) Exclusion Criteria: - Meets current criteria for substance dependence, based on the SCID-P - Meets criteria for metal retardation (e.g., has an IQ of less than 80) - History of brain injuries - Difficulties interacting with others, based on ratings on items from the Social Functioning Scale that tap interactional skills



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
David L. Penn, PhD
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: October 09, 2019

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