Pilot randomised controlled trial of culturally adapted cognitive behavior therapy for psychosis (CaCBTp) in Pakistan

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Background: Evidence for efficacy of cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) in treatment of schizophrenia is growing. CBT is effective and cost efficient in treating positive and negative symptoms. To effectively meet the needs of diverse cultural groups, CBT needs to be adapted to the linguistic, cultural and socioeconomic context. We aimed to assess the feasibility, efficacy and acceptability of a culturally adapted CBT for treatment of psychosis (CaCBTp) in a low-income country. Methods: Rater-blind, randomised, controlled trial of the use of standard duration CBT in patients with psychosis from a low-income country. Participants with a ICD-10 diagnosis of psychosis were assessed using Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale for Schizophrenia (PANSS), Psychotic Symptom Rating Scales (PSYRATS), and the Schedule for Assessment of Insight (SAI) (baseline, 3 months and 6 months). They were randomized into the intervention group (n = 18) and Treatment As Usual (TAU) group (n = 18). The intervention group received 12 weekly sessions of CaCBTp. Results: The CaCBTp group had significantly lower scores on PANSS Positive (p = 0.02), PANSS Negative (p = 0.045), PANSS General Psychopathology (p = 0.008) and Total PANSS (p = 0.05) when compared to TAU at three months. They also had low scores on Delusion Severity Total (p = 0.02) and Hallucination Severity Total (p = 0.04) of PSYRATS, as well as higher scores on SAI (p = 0.01) at the same time point. At six months only the improvement in PANSS positive scores (p = 0.045) met statistical significance. Conclusions: It is feasible to offer CaCBTp as an adjunct to TAU in patients with psychosis, presenting to services in a lower middle-income country. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02202694 (Retrospectively registered).




Husain, M. O., Chaudhry, I. B., Mehmood, N., Rehman, R. U., Kazmi, A., Hamirani, M., … Husain, N. (2017). Pilot randomised controlled trial of culturally adapted cognitive behavior therapy for psychosis (CaCBTp) in Pakistan. BMC Health Services Research, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-017-2740-z

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