Social cognitive interventions for people with schizophrenia: A systematic review
journal contributionposted on 22.02.2022, 11:00 authored by Bhing Leet TanBhing Leet Tan, Sara-Ann Lee, Jimmy Lee
Social cognition is the mental process which underpins social interactions. Increasingly, it has been recognized to be impaired in people with schizophrenia, resulting in functional problems. Correspondingly, the past ten years have seen huge developments in the study of interventions to ameliorate social cognitive deficits among people with schizophrenia. In the present review, we systematically reviewed published studies on social cognitive interventions from 2005 to 2015. Of the 61 studies included in this review, 20 were on broad-based social cognitive interventions, which incorporated neurocognitive training, specialized learning technique or virtual reality social skills training. On the other hand, 31 studies on targeted interventions either focused on specific social cognitive domains, or a range of domains. Improvements in emotion processing and theory of mind were often reported, while social perception and attributional style were less frequently measured. Both broad-based and targeted interventions achieved gains in social functioning, albeit inconsistently. Lastly, nine studies on the use of oxytocin and one study on transcranial direct current stimulation reported positive preliminary results in higher-order cognition and facial affect recognition respectively. This review revealed that a wide range of social cognitive interventions is currently available and most have shown some promise in improving social cognition outcomes. However, there is a need to use a common battery of measurements for better comparisons across interventions. Future research should examine combination therapies and the sustainability of gains beyond the intervention period.