DOI: 10.1177/00207640231212096 ISSN: 0020-7640

Strength-based cognitive-behavioural therapy and peer-to-peer support in the recovery process for people with schizophrenia: A randomised control trial

Daniel Fu Keung Wong, Yves Cho Ho Cheung, Lindsay G. Oades, Shengquan Sam Ye, Yat-nam Petrus Ng
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Background and aims:

Dysfunctional cognition and negative symptoms in schizophrenia are associated with persistently low social functioning and quality of life (QoL). Recovery interventions report only a modest effect in improving social functioning and QoL. This study examined the therapeutic effects and pathways of interventions using strength-based cognitive-behavioural therapy (SBCBT) and peer-to-peer support (PSP) approaches.


A randomised control trial compared SBCBT, PSP and TAU (treatment-as-usual) by recruiting 127 individuals with schizophrenia spectrum disorders and low social functioning.


The three-group comparison found SBCBT produced improved social functioning and social support at post-intervention and 6-month follow-up while PSP reported improved social QoL and defeatist beliefs, but none remained at 6-month follow-up. Unsurprising, no improvement was found in any areas for TAU, both at post-test and 6-month follow-up. Regarding mechanisms of change, improvements in hope and personal recovery consistently and significantly accounted for improvements in social functioning and many aspects of QoL of participants, thus indicating the important contribution of hope and personal recovery in strength-based interventions for people with schizophrenia.


This rigorously designed study provides the first few solid empirical evidence on the effectiveness of SBCBT and PSP in recovery from schizophrenia and provides initial evidence of the linkage between dysfunctional cognition, hope and recovery in schizophrenia.

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