Among individuals with schizophrenia, those who have persistent and clinically significant negative symptoms (PNS) have the poorest functional outcomes and quality of life. The NIMH-MATRICS Consensus Statement indicated that these symptoms represent an unmet therapeutic need for large numbers of individuals with schizophrenia. No psychosocial treatment model addresses the entire constellation of PNS.
51 patients with PNS were randomized into one of two groups for a period of 9 months: 1) MOtiVation and Enhancement (MOVE) or 2) treatment as usual. MOVE is a home based, manual-driven, multi-modal treatment that employs a number of cognitive and behavioral principles to address the broad range of factors contributing to PNS and their functional consequences. The components of MOVE include: Environmental supports to prompt initiation and persistence, in-vivo skills training to ameliorate deficits and encourage interaction, cognitive behavioral techniques to address self-defeating attitudes, in-vivo training in emotional processing to address affective blunting and problems in identifying emotions, and specific techniques to address the deficits in anticipatory pleasure. Patients were assessed at baseline and each 3 months with multiple measures of negative symptoms.
Repeated measures analyses of variance for mixed models indicated significant Group by Time effects for the Negative Symptom Assessment (NSA; p<.02) and the Clinical Assessment Interview for Negative Symptoms (CAINS; p<.04). Group differences were not significant until 9 months of treatment and were not significant for the Brief Negative Symptom Scale (BNSS).
Further investigation of a comprehensive treatment for PNS, such as MOVE, is warranted.
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