Coping as a predictor of treatment outcome in people at clinical high risk of psychosis
ABSTRACT The concept of coping is relevant to recent models of psychosis, and people with established psychotic disorders have been found to predominately use maladaptive coping strategies. This study aimed to examine the general coping patterns of people at clinical high risk of psychosis (CHR) and to investigate whether pre-therapy coping behaviour plays a role in predicting responsiveness to early interventions.
One hundred twenty-eight help-seeking CHR outpatients were randomized into two treatment groups: either receiving integrated psychological intervention (IPI), including cognitive behaviour therapy, or supportive counselling (SC) for 12 months. Of those, 91 persons completed a Stress Coping Questionnaire (SCQ) at intake: 45 in the IPI group and 46 in the SC group. General coping behaviour in this sample was analysed and several regressions were conducted separately for each treatment group to examine coping as a predictor of outcome after 12 months of different forms of treatment.
Participants relied significantly more on negative than on positive coping strategies, t(90) = -7.185, P < 0.001, and within the positive strategies, stress control was the most preferred one, t(90) = 10.979, P < 0.001. Several pre-therapy coping strategies significantly predicted improvement in symptomatic outcome in both treatment groups, explaining between 16% and 25% of variance. The predictive value of coping was higher in the SC group.
Maladaptive coping behaviours were found to emerge in the early stages of psychosis and coping behaviour contributed significantly to the prediction of post-treatment symptom improvement. These findings indicate a need for psychosocial support and coping strategy enhancement in people at risk of psychosis.
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ABSTRACT: According to stress-vulnerability models, social stressors contribute to the onset of schizophrenia. Stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness may be a stressor for young people at risk of psychosis even prior to illness onset, but quantitative longitudinal data on this issue are lacking. We examined the cognitive appraisal of stigma-related stress as predictor of transition to schizophrenia among young people at risk of psychosis. In Zürich, Switzerland, 172 participants between 13 and 35years old and with either high or ultra-high risk of psychosis or risk of bipolar disorder were included. With 71 dropouts, transition was assessed during 12months among 101 participants of whom 13 converted to schizophrenia. At baseline, the cognitive appraisal of stigma as a stressor was measured by self-report, based on the primary appraisal of stigma as harmful and the secondary appraisal of resources to cope with stigma. Positive and negative symptoms were examined using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Compared with participants who did not convert to schizophrenia, converters had significantly more positive (p<.001) and negative (p<.001) symptoms and reported higher levels of stigma-related harm (p=.003) and stress (p=.009) at baseline. More perceived harm due to stigma at baseline predicted transition to schizophrenia (odds ratio 2.34, 95%-CI 1.19-4.60) after adjusting for age, gender, symptoms and functioning. Stigma stress may increase the risk of transition to schizophrenia. Research is needed on interventions that reduce public negative attitudes towards young people at risk and that support individuals at risk to cope with stigma-related stress. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.Schizophrenia Research 05/2015; 166(1-3). DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2015.05.027 · 3.92 Impact Factor