Five-Year Follow-Up of Supportive Psychodynamic Psychotherapy in First-Episode Psychosis: Long-Term Outcome in Social Functioning

Psychiatry Interpersonal & Biological Processes (Impact Factor: 3.05). 06/2014; 77(2):155-68. DOI: 10.1521/psyc.2014.77.2.155
Source: PubMed


The long-term outcomes of several approaches to intervention targeting social functioning in schizophrenia are not well documented. Contemporary supportive psychodynamic psychotherapy (SPP) aims to improve social functioning. The aim of the present study was to investigate the long-term outcome of SPP in a prospective, longitudinal, comparative, multicenter investigation of successively referred patients diagnosed with first-episode schizophrenia spectrum disorder.

Manualized SPP for up to 3 years as a supplement to standard treatment (ST) were compared to ST alone and followed up for 5 years (N = 269). The SPP targeted interpersonal relationships, emotion regulation, social cognition, and self-coherence.

Significant between-group effects in favor of SPP+ST on social functioning, overall symptoms, and positive psychotic symptoms were found during the period of active SPP intervention. These differential effects, however, were not sustained after end of additional SPP at 5-year follow-up.

The findings are in line with results from other approaches targeting social functioning in schizophrenia and support SPP as a valuable treatment. Further research into the curative elements of SPP is needed.

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