Social cognition is a promising treatment target in schizophrenia because of its close link to social functioning impairment. Social Cognition and Interaction Training (SCIT) has received support in efficacy trials, but its effectiveness in routine clinical care and in non-English speaking countries, including Portugal is not well established. The present study aimed to contribute to study the effectiveness of the Portuguese version of SCIT in routine care in Portugal. In the present quasi-experimental study, 35 outpatients with schizophrenia received either treatment as usual (TAU) (n = 16) or TAU plus SCIT (n = 19). Participants completed the Hinting task, the Ambiguous Intentions Hostility Questionnaire-Ambiguous items (AIHQ-A), and two measures of social functioning at baseline and after 24 weeks of treatment. On the Hinting task, both groups showed improvements, with a larger effect size in the SCIT group. On the AIHQ, the SCIT group showed a trend level advantage, which became significant when considering only patients with elevated baseline bias scores. The SCIT group showed strong improvements relative to the TAU group in social skill performance but no change in global social functioning. Overall, this study provides initial support for the feasibility and potential effectiveness of SCIT in community settings in Portugal.
- Social cognition