Stability and generalization of combined theory of mind and cognitive remediation interventions in schizophrenia: Follow-up results

Margherita Bechi, Marta Bosia, Mariachiara Buonocore, Giulia Agostoni, Francesca Bosinelli, Maria Paola Silvestri, Laura Bianchi, Federica Cocchi, Carmelo Guglielmino, Marco Spangaro, Roberto Cavallaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Daily functional impairment is a main target of treatment in schizophrenia. Multiple rehabilitation treatments have been developed to improve patients' sociocognitive and neurocognitive abilities and to generalize the benefits to functioning. However, whether the effects of these treatments can be generalized and maintained remains equivocal. Our study aims to evaluate the stability and generalization of benefits, following combined Theory of Mind (ToM) and cognitive remediation (CR) trainings, compared with an active control group + CR, at a 3-year follow-up. Method: Sixty-seven outpatients with schizophrenia who had completed an earlier study of ToM and CR were recruited for a 3-year follow-up assessment. We examined changes in ToM and functioning, at baseline, after treatment, and at follow-up. Results: ANOVAs showed significant Time × Group interactions on ToM and functioning. ANOVAs showed significant differences between groups in effect sizes of ToM and functioning from before treatment to follow-up. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Posttraining ToM improvement was maintained at follow-up, and ToM + CR participants experienced greater functional improvement than participants in the control condition. This study represents the first attempt to report the stability and generalization of treatment effects obtained by combining CR and ToM interventions after 3 years. Combined sociocognitive and neurocognitive treatments can enhance rehabilitation practice for people with schizophrenia to achieve good results on both cognitive and functional outcomes and to maintain positive outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-148
Number of pages9
JournalPsychiatric Rehabilitation Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Daily functioning
  • Neurocognition
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social cognition
  • Theory of Mind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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