Youth at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis often exhibit difficulties in social functioning and poorer social functioning may be predictive of transition to a psychotic disorder. Therefore, the primary objective of this systematic review was to summarize the impact of all interventions on social functioning in CHR samples.
Electronic databases PsycINFO, CINAHL, Embase, EBM, and MEDLINE were searched from 1951 to June 2017. Studies were selected if they included any intervention that reported changes in social functioning in youth at CHR. Data were evaluated using random effects pairwise meta-analyses, stratified by time, and reported as the standardized mean difference (SMD).
Nineteen studies met our inclusion criteria, including a total of 1513 CHR participants. The mean age was 20.5 years and 47% were male. Cognitive behavioural therapy (4 studies) did not significantly improve social functioning at 6 months (SMD = 0.06; 95% confidence interval [CI] = -0.35, 0.46), 12 months (SMD = -0.15; 95% CI = -0.38, 0.08) and 18 months (SMD = 0.20; 95% CI = -0.10, 0.50). Omega-3 (2 studies) did not significantly improve social functioning at 6 months (SMD = 0.01; 95% CI = -0.21, 0.24) and 12 months (SMD = -0.08; 95% CI = -0.33, 0.17). Lastly, cognitive remediation (3 studies) did not significantly improve social functioning at 2- to 3-month follow-up (SMD = 0.13, 95% CI = -0.18, 0.43).
This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated that no treatment significantly improved social functioning in youth at CHR. Future randomized control trials are required that are designed to target and improve social functioning in youth at CHR for psychosis.
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