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Early Interv Psychiatry. 2007 Feb;1(1):71-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-7893.2007.00013.x.

Randomized controlled multicentre trial of cognitive behaviour therapy in the early initial prodromal state: effects on social adjustment post treatment.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Cologne, Cologne,Germany.



Improvement of social adjustment is a major aim of indicated prevention in young people at risk of developing psychosis. The present study explores the effect of specific cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) as compared with supportive counselling (SC) on social adjustment in people in a potential early initial prodromal state of psychosis (EIPS) primarily defined by self-experienced cognitive thought and perception deficits (basic symptoms).


A total of 128 help-seeking outpatients in the EIPS were randomized to receive either specific CBT or SC for 12 months. Social adjustment was assessed with the Social Adjustment Scale II (SAS II) at baseline, time of transition or post treatment


From 113 patients, who completed the SAS II at intake, 67 (59.3%) completed the SAS assessments at time of transition or post treatment. Both specific CBT and SC resulted in improvements in scales of SAS II, with no significant between-group differences post treatment.


  Although treatment in specially designed early detection and intervention centres improves functioning of people in the EIPS, specific CBT was not superior to SC. One could hypothesize that additional vocational rehabilitation, case management and involvement of multidisciplinary teams are needed to further improve short-term outcome of specific interventions on this dimension.

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