REFLEX, a social-cognitive group treatment to improve insight in schizophrenia: Study protocol of a multi-center RCT

G H M Pijnenborg, Mark Van der Gaag, Claudi L H Bockting, Lisette Van der Meer, André Aleman

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Insight is impaired in a majority of people with schizophrenia. Impaired insight is associated with poorer outcomes of the disorder. Based on existing literature, we developed a model that explains which processes may possibly play a role in impaired insight. This model was the starting point of the development of REFLEX: a brief psychosocial intervention to improve insight in schizophrenia. REFLEX is a 12-sessions group training, consisting of three modules of four sessions each. Modules in this intervention are: "coping with stigma", "you and your personal narrative", and "you in the present".

METHODS/DESIGN: REFLEX is currently evaluated in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Eight mental health institutions in the Netherlands participate in this evaluation. Patients are randomly assigned to either REFLEX or an active control condition, existing of cognitive remediation exercises in a group. In a subgroup of patients, fMRI scans are made before and after training in order to assess potential haemodynamic changes associated with the effects of the training.

DISCUSSION: REFLEX is one of the few interventions aiming specifically to improving insight in schizophrenia and has potential value for improving insight. Targeting insight in schizophrenia is a complex task, that comes with several methodological issues. These issues are addressed in the discussion of this paper.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN50247539.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Volume11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5-Oct-2011

Keywords

  • schizophrenia
  • insight
  • treatment
  • self-reflection
  • self-stigma
  • perspective-taking
  • RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED-TRIAL
  • QUALITY-OF-LIFE
  • BEHAVIORAL THERAPY
  • INTERNALIZED STIGMA
  • SELF-REFLECTION
  • POOR INSIGHT
  • PSYCHOSIS
  • ILLNESS
  • SCALE
  • INTERVENTION

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