Targeting anxiety to improve quality of life in patients with schizophrenia

M Buonocore, M Bosia, Margherita Bechi, M Spangaro, S Cavedoni, F Cocchi, L Bianchi, Carmelo Guglielmino, AR Mastromatteo, R Cavallaro

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Background Several studies suggested that anxiety can significantly affect the outcome of schizophrenia. Despite this evidence, non-pharmacological interventions targeting anxiety are still heterogenous. This study aims to test the efficacy of a novel training specifically designed to target anxiety in patients with schizophrenia. Innovatively, this training, beyond psychoeducation and problem solving, also targets Theory of Mind, as it provides coping strategies. Method Twenty-seven outpatients with schizophrenia received a novel rehabilitative training targeting anxiety (Anxiety Management Group [AMG]) combined with a Computer-Assisted Cognitive Remediation (CACR), and twenty received CACR plus a control intervention (Control Newspaper discussion Group [CNG] ). All patients were assessed at baseline and after treatment for quality of life, neurocognition and anxiety. Results After training, patients treated with AMG + CACR showed significantly greater improvements on anxiety. A significant increase in quality of life was observed only for AMG + CACR group. Moreover, the participants’ appraisal showed a significant difference between treatment groups with higher ratings among patients who received the AMG + CACR. Conclusions This study thus suggests feasibility and efficacy of the proposed intervention, that could be implemented in rehabilitative programs for patients with schizophrenia with potential benefits also on disease course and outcome. © 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-135
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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