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The present study aimed to provide preliminary evaluation of the effectiveness of a brief CBT intervention focusing on relapse prevention and positive symptom in a Chinese first episode schizophrenia (FES) population. This randomized controlled trial recruited eighty outpatients with FES (as determined using the DSM-IV), aged 16-45 years, and on a current atypical antipsychotic. Patients were randomized to either 10 sessions of individual CBT (intervention group) adjunctive to treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU alone (control group). Outcome assessment of symptoms, relapse, hospitalization, insight and social functioning were administered at baseline and then post treatment (10 weeks), and at 6-month and 12-month follow ups. At 12 months, patients in the intervention group had significantly greater improvements in positive symptoms, general psychopathology and social functioning, as well as significantly lower rates of relapse, compared to the control group. Although patients in both groups demonstrated significantly improved negative symptom and insight scores from baseline, no group differences were found. This RCT demonstrates that FES patient can greatly benefit from CBT designed to target relapse prevention and positive symptom, with improvements sustained for 1 year following treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


Psychiatry Res

Publication Date





275 - 283


CBT, Chinese population, First-episode, One year follow up, Adolescent, Adult, Antipsychotic Agents, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Combined Modality Therapy, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Psychotherapy, Brief, Schizophrenia, Secondary Prevention, Young Adult