The Effects of Art Therapy and Psychosocial Skills Training on Symptoms and Social Functioning in Patients with Schizophrenia and Their Relatives

Aslı SARANDÖL,Rümeysa Ayşe GÜLLÜLÜ,İlknur KİRAZ AVCI, Eralp TÜRK,Salih Saygın EKER
2024 35(2): 102-115
DOI: 10.5080/u26773
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Objective: The effects of antipsychotics on negative symptoms
are limited. The most appropriate approach in the treatment of
schizophrenia is the integration of drug therapy with psychological
and social interventions. The purpose of this study was to evaluate
and compare the effects of art therapy and psychosocial skills training
(PSST) in the treatment of schizophrenia.
Methods: A total of 15 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia according
to the criteria in DSM-5 and 12 patient relatives were included in the
study. The patients were randomly divided into 2 groups, 7 were included
in the art therapy program and 8 were included in the PSST program
for schizophrenia. 90-minute sessions of art therapy and PSST were
carried out once a week for 17 weeks. Participants with schizophrenia
were evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS),
Social Functioning Scale (SFS) and the Calgary Depression Scale for
Schizophrenia and the relatives were given Beck Depression Inventory,
Beck Anxiety Inventory and Zarit Burden Interview.
Results: There was a significant decrease in the PANSS negative
symptoms, PANSS general psychopathology, SFS pro-social activities
and SFS recreation scores in both groups, while the SFS social
withdrawal scores decreased significantly only in the art therapy group.
In the PANSS negative symptoms subscale, passive social withdrawal,
difficulty in abstract thinking, lack of spontaneity and flow of
conversation and stereotyped thinking scores were significantly lower in
the art therapy group. In the PSST group only the score for difficulty in
abstract thinking declined significantly.
Conclusion: The findings of the present study suggest that art therapy
and PSST have positive effects on the improvement of negative
symptoms as well as improvements in social and cognitive functionality
in schizophrenia.
Keywords: Schizophrenia, Art Therapy, Psychotherapy Group,
Psychosocial Skills Training, Social Functioning