Gohar, S. M., E. Hamdi, A. E. A. Ray, W. P. Horan, and M. F. Green, "Adapting and evaluating a social cognitive remediation program for schizophrenia in Arabic.", Schizophr Res, vol. 148, issue 1-3, pp. 12-17, 2013. Abstract

Although growing evidence supports the efficacy of social cognitive training interventions for schizophrenia, nearly all studies to date have been conducted in Westernized countries. In the current study, we translated and adapted an existing social cognitive skills training (SCST) program into Arabic and conducted a preliminary efficacy evaluation in schizophrenia outpatients in Egypt. Twenty-two patients were randomized to 16 sessions of group-based SCST and 20 were randomized to a format- and time-matched illness management training control condition. Pre- and post-intervention assessments included a primary social cognition outcome measure that assessed four branches of emotional intelligence and a battery of neurocognitive tests. The SCST group demonstrated significant treatment effects on total emotional intelligence scores (F = 24.31, p < .001), as well as the sub-areas of Identifying Emotions (F = 11.77, p < .001) and Managing Emotions (F = 23.27, p < .001), compared with those in the control condition. There were no treatment benefits for neurocognition for either condition, and both interventions were well-tolerated by patients. These initial results demonstrate the feasibility of implementing social cognitive interventions in different cultural settings with relatively minor modifications. The findings are encouraging regarding further efforts to maximize the benefits of social cognitive interventions internationally.