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Psychiatry Res. 2009 Jul 30;168(2):94-101. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2008.03.016. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

The short-term impact of generic versus individualized environmental supports on functional outcomes and target behaviors in schizophrenia.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, MSC 7792, 7703 Floyd Curl Drive, San Antonio, TX 78229-3900, USA.


We examined the short-term efficacy of two treatments using environmental supports (e.g. signs, alarms, pill containers, and checklists) to improve target behaviors in individuals with schizophrenia. 120 participants were randomized into one of the following three treatment groups: 1) Cognitive Adaptation Training (CAT; a manual-driven set of environmental supports customized to individual cognitive impairments and behaviors, and established and maintained in participants' homes on weekly visits; 2) Generic Environmental Supports (GES; a generic set of supports given to patients at a routine clinic visit and replaced on a monthly basis); and 3) treatment as usual (TAU; standard follow-up provided by a community mental health center). Global level of functional outcome and target behaviors, including orientation, grooming and hygiene, and medication adherence, were assessed at baseline and 3 months. Results of an analysis of covariance indicated that patients in both CAT and GES had better scores on global functional outcome at 3 months than those in TAU. Results of Chi Square analyses indicated that patients in CAT were more likely to improve on target behaviors, including orientation, hygiene, and medication adherence, than those in GES. Irrespective of treatment group, individuals who were high utilizers of environmental supports were more likely to improve on target behaviors than individuals who were low utilizers of supports.

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