Acquisition and retention of skills training methods in chronic schizophrenic outpatients

W. C. Wirshing, S. R. Marder, T. Eckman, R. P. Liberman, J. Mintz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Forty-one DSM-III-R schizophrenic subjects on constant, low-dose maintenance neuroleptic drug therapy (5-10 mg of fluphenazine decanoate intramuscularly every 2 weeks) were randomly assigned to structured and modularized skills training or to supportive group psychotherapy. The skills training was designed by using cognitive and behavioral methods to compensate for the learning disabilities that plague many schizophrenic patients. Skill acquisition was assessed by using quantified performance on standardized role-play tests. Subjects who received skills training made significant gains in each of the areas taught, whereas those who participated in the control psychotherapy group did not. The knowledge and skills learned during training were retained without significant erosion over a 1-year, followup period. These results suggest that the use of structured principles of learning and cognitive therapy can effectively train schizophrenics in skill areas pertinent to the self-management of their illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)241-245
Number of pages5
JournalPsychopharmacology bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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