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Schizophr Res. 2003 Sep 1;63(1-2):121-9.

Cognitive behavioural group treatment for social anxiety in schizophrenia.

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  • 1WA Institute for Psychotherapy Research, 223 James Street, Northbridge, Western Australia 6003, Australia.


Anxiety symptoms reported by individuals with schizophrenia have been traditionally seen as symptoms associated with the principal disorder and therefore not requiring special attention. The primary aim of this paper is to therapeutically target social anxiety symptoms in individuals with schizophrenia in order to determine the effectiveness of the cognitive behavioural group treatment model as an intervention for social anxiety in this participant group. Thirty-three individuals with schizophrenia and co-morbid social anxiety were allocated to a group-based cognitive behaviour (CBGT) intervention or waitlist control (WLC). Baseline, completion and follow-up ratings consist of measures of social anxiety: the Brief Social Phobia Scale (BSPS), Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation scale (BFNE) and the Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS); measures of general psychopathology: the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDSS) and Global Severity Index (GSI) from the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI); and the Quality of Life, Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (QLESQ). Pre- and post-treatment measures were subjected to statistical evaluation. All outcome measures displayed statistical improvement in the intervention group compared with no change in the control group. These treatment gains were maintained at follow-up. CBGT for social anxiety in schizophrenia was demonstrated to be effective as an adjunctive treatment for this population.

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