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Ann Gen Psychiatry. 2013 May 9;12(1):14. doi: 10.1186/1744-859X-12-14.

Therapeutic alliance in early schizophrenia spectrum disorders: a cross-sectional study.

Author information

  • 1Forensic Department Brøset, Centre for Research and Education in Forensic Psychiatry, St, Olav's Hospital, Trondheim University Hospital, P, Box 3008 Lade, Trondheim, 7441, Norway. ragnhild.johansen@stolav.no.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The therapeutic alliance is related to better course and outcome of treatment in schizophrenia. This study explores predictors and characteristics of the therapeutic alliance in recent-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders including the agreement between patient and therapist alliance ratings.

METHODS:

Forty-two patients were assessed with demographic, neurocognitive, and clinical measures including the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). The therapeutic alliance was measured with the Working Alliance Inventory - Short Form (WAI-S).

RESULTS:

Patient WAI-S total scores were predicted by age and PANSS excitative symptoms. Therapist WAI-S total scores were predicted by PANSS insight. Patient and therapist WAI-S total scores were moderately associated. Neurocognition was not associated with working alliance.

CONCLUSION:

Working alliance is associated with specific demographic and symptom characteristics in patients with recent-onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders. There is moderate agreement between patients and therapists on the total quality of their working alliance. Findings highlight aspects that may increase therapists' specificity in the use of alliance-enhancing strategies.

PMID:
23656747
PMCID:
PMC3661357
DOI:
10.1186/1744-859X-12-14
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