Article: Attention shaping: a reward-based learning method to enhance skills training outcomes in schizophrenia.Steven M Silverstein, William D Spaulding, Anthony A Menditto, Adam Savitz, Robert P Liberman, Sarah Berten, Hannah Starobin[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Disturbances in sustained attention commonly interfere with the ability of persons with schizophrenia to benefit from evidence-based psychosocial treatments. Cognitive remediation interventions have thus far demonstrated minimal effects on attention, as have medications. There is thus a gap between the existence of effective psychosocial treatments and patients' ability to effectively engage in and benefit from them. We report on the results of a multisite study of attention shaping (AS), a behavioral intervention for improving attentiveness and learning of social skills among highly distractible schizophrenia patients. Patients with chronic schizophrenia who were refractory to skills training were assigned to receive either the UCLA Basic Conversation Skills Module (BCSM) augmented with AS (n = 47) or in the standard format (n = 35). AS, a reward-based learning procedure, was employed to facilitate patients' meeting clearly defined and individualized attentiveness and participation goals during each session of a social skills training group. Primary outcome measures were observational ratings of attentiveness in each session and pre- and post-BCSM ratings of social skill and symptoms. Patients receiving social skills training augmented with AS demonstrated significantly more attentiveness in group sessions and higher levels of skill acquisition; moreover, significant relationships were found between changes in attentiveness and amount of skills acquired. Changes in attentiveness were unrelated to level or change in antipsychotic medication dose. AS is an effective example of supported cognition, in that cognitive abilities are improved within the environmental context where the patient is experiencing difficulty, leading to gains in both attention and functional outcome.Schizophrenia Bulletin 02/2008; 35(1):222-32. · 8.80 Impact Factor
Article: [Techniques for improving attentiveness and treatment engagement among "treatment refractory" schizophrenia patients with severe cognitive impairment].Steven M Silverstein, Michi Hatashita-Wong, Sandra Wilkniss, Jérôme Alain Lapasset, Beth Solak, Peter Uhlhaas, Yulia Landa, Hannah Starobin[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: While many effective group-based psychiatric rehabilitation interventions now exist, many severely disabled patients are unable to benefit from them due to a reduced ability to pay attention in group sessions. Moreover, inattentiveness can be due to one or more of multiple factors, including a sustained attention deficit, poor motivation, sedating side effects of medication, and the interfering effects of hallucinations and disturbing thoughts. Existing cognitive rehabilitation interventions for schizophrenia typically do not address these factors, instead targeting higher level functions such as memory, learning, problem-solving, and executive functioning. In this paper, we describe techniques for promoting attentiveness and treatment engagement among severely disabled "treatment-refractory" patients. This includes both individual and group-based interventions.Sante mentale au Quebec 02/2004; 29(2):65-88.