Social cognition and interaction training for recent-onset schizophrenia: A preliminary randomized trial

Nuno Barbosa Rocha, Carlos Campos, João Mateus Figueiredo, Sérgio Saraiva, Carla Almeida, Cátia Moreira, Guilherme Pereira, Diogo Telles-Correia, David Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Comprehensive social cognition training programs have been effective to improve social cognition in people with chronic schizophrenia, although there is insufficient quality evidence for recent-onset psychosis. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT) in a sample of recent-onset schizophrenia outpatients. Sixteen participants who had their first psychotic episode for less than 2 years were randomly allocated to the SCIT group during 20 weeks (weekly sessions) or to a psychoeducation group and completed baseline and post-training assessment for cognitive biases, social cognition, clinical symptoms and functioning. Permutation-based analysis revealed improvements in overall functioning (P = 0.036) and blame score (P = 0.070) in the SCIT group compared to the psychoeducation intervention, with large effect sizes (d = 1.438 and d = 1.204, respectively). There were also large effect sizes for hostility, emotion recognition, social perception, positive and total symptoms (d = 0.833-1.158). These results suggest that SCIT may be an effective tool to improve attributional biases and functional outcomes in recent-onset schizophrenia outpatients. Future controlled trials with larger sample size and follow-up assessments should be developed to further understand effective intervention outcomes for this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)206-212
Number of pages7
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • early intervention
  • recent-onset
  • rehabilitation
  • schizophrenia
  • social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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