Social cognitive group treatment for impaired insight in psychosis: A multicenter randomized controlled trial

G. H. M. Pijnenborg*, A. E. de Vos, M. E. Timmerman, M. Van der Gaag, B. E. Sportel, J. Arends, E. M. Koopmans, L. Van der Meer, A. Aleman

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

15 Citaten (Scopus)
224 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: The majority of people with schizophrenia has impaired insight, which is related to a poorer outcome. In this study, we evaluate a new psychosocial intervention 'REFLEX' aimed at improving insight in people with schizophrenia. REFLEX focuses on targeting stigma-sensitivity, perspective taking and self-reflection in people with schizophrenia and low insight. Primary objective is to improve insight and subsequently to improve functional outcome and symptoms.

Method: A total of 121 people diagnosed with schizophrenia according to DSM IV criteria with impaired insight was included in 2012-2015 from seven sites in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. REFLEX was compared to an active control condition consisting of group-wise simplified cognitive remediation training. Primary outcome of the study were the preconditions of insight: internalized stigma, self-reflection, mental flexibility and perspective taking. Clinical insight and cognitive insight were secondary outcomes.

Results: Although perspective taking, self-reflection, mental flexibility and stigma sensitivity remained unchanged after the intervention, results showed a significant improvement of clinical insight in both conditions directly after treatment (SAI-E Rater, p <.001, PANSS G12, p <.005) and at follow-up (SAI-E Rater, p <.01, SAI-E interview, p <.001, PANSS G12, p <.0001). Improvement of clinical insight directly after treatment was larger in the REFLEX condition (SAI-E Rater, p <.05). Other outcomes (self-esteem, quality of life and depression) remained unchanged.

Conclusion: Though insight improved in both conditions, REFLEX was not superior to simplified drill-and-practice cognitive remediation training. Nevertheless, this study indicates that structured interventions can significantly improve insight. Further research on the underlying mechanisms of both conditions is needed, as insight is unlikely to improve spontaneously in chronic patients. (C) 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)362-369
Aantal pagina's8
TijdschriftSchizophrenia Research
StatusPublished - apr.-2019


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