An open clinical trial assessing a novel training program for social cognitive impairment in schizophrenia

Pamela Marsh*, Robyn Langdon, Jonathan McGuire, Anthony Harris, Vince Polito, Max Coltheart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: Social cognition is profoundly impaired in patients with schizophrenia. This study describes 'Mental-State Reasoning Training for Social Cognitive Impairment' (SoCog-MSRT), a 5-week program developed to improve social cognition in patients with schizophrenia. We aimed to investigate the feasibility of implementing SoCog-MSRT in a rehabilitation setting and to evaluate whether our training methods produced improvements. Method: The feasibility and benefits of SoCog-MSRT were evaluated in an open clinical trial with 14 participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Training comprised 10 twice-weekly sessions, for 5 weeks, with a pre- and post-training assessment. Results: There were significant improvements on: (a) a classic false-belief test of Theory of Mind (ToM); (b) inferring complex mental states from the eyes; and (c) a self-reported measure of social understanding. Some of these improvements were associated with baseline levels of working memory and premorbid Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Conclusions: SoCog-MSRT can improve ToM abilities and social understanding, but individuals with poorer working memory and lower premorbid IQ may be less able to benefit from this type of training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-126
Number of pages5
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


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