Objective: The authors compared the community functioning of outpatients with persistent forms of schizophrenia after treatment with psychosocial occupational therapy or social skills training, with the latter conducted by paraprofessionals. Method: Eighty outpatients with persistent forms of schizophrenia were randomly assigned to receive either psychosocial occupational therapy or skills training for 12 hours weekly for 6 months, followed by 18 months of follow-up with case management in the community. Antipsychotic medication was prescribed through 'doctor's choice' by psychiatrists who were blind to the psychosocial treatment assignments. Results: Patients who received skills training showed significantly greater independent living skills during a 2-year follow-up of everyday community functioning. Conclusions: Skills training can be effectively conducted by paraprofessionals, with durability and generalization of the skills greater than that achieved by occupational therapists who provide their patients with psychosocial occupational therapy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health