Researchers report success in helping psychotic patients improve their self-efficacy, thereby reducing stress and improving quality of life.
Self-efficacy, a tenet of positive psychology, is based on the belief that individuals can learn to take control of their behavior and that their own actions and decision influence the events that shape their life.
Researchers at the University of Granada tested the training program on 14 patients diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
The evolution of patients was evaluated successively three and six months after implementation of the training program. The results were compared to those obtained by a control group that did not receive any training.
This program included 15 training sessions: firstly, patients were trained on general self-efficacy, and secondly on specific self-efficacy to acquire skills to deal with stress.
The second training period included sessions to learn to deal with interpersonal difficulties (communication and social skills) and family conflicts, improve discipline with their biomedical/psychological treatments, cope with their symptoms and hallucinations, avoid negative thinking, and prevent and deal with daily stress.
After their participation in the training program, patients’ perception of their own specific self-efficacy increased – both their expectations regarding the results after the training, and its efficiency – to deal with stress.
Additionally, a significant reduction in negative, affective, psychotic symptoms, disorientation and confusion was observed.
Further, most of patients reported high levels of wellness and they expressed their satisfaction at the changes attained thanks to the program.
Conversely, patients from the control group did not report any change in their perceived self-efficacy to deal with stress and their psychotic symptoms. Thus, they obtained lower scores than the intervention group in their levels of wellness, areas of change and general satisfaction.
The same results were obtained in successive evaluations.
Source: University of Granada