Motivation and skills support(MASS)


Social impairment contributes to more severe symptoms, higher rates of hospitalization, and increased disability in persons with schizophrenia. In this study we will develop a smartphone application and test its impact on improving real-world social functioning in persons with schizophrenia. Findings from this study will allow us to better understand ways to improve social skills and social motivation, two common problems in the daily lives of persons with schizophrenia. We hope this mobile phone-based support application will ultimately contribute to increased access to effective treatments for social functioning in this population.

This project will involve an examination of the impact of a mobile intervention to improve social functioning in schizophrenia using an evidence-based treatment framework to target deficits in social skills and social motivation. Social impairment is a key characteristic of schizophrenia, present prior to onset and predictive of long-term course. The approach of the current project is to use Ecological Momentary Intervention (EMI), administered by mobile phone, to integrate features from social skills training (SST; an evidence-based treatment for schizophrenia) with social motivation support to improve social functioning. Aim 1 of the project will involve iterative development of the mobile application, using expert panel input and conducting usability testing to inform intervention content and approach. As an exploratory aim, social sensing technology (e.g., GPS and automated conversation detection) will be implemented to test the promise of this technology in identifying and intervening in social isolation. In Aim 2, 30 persons with schizophrenia will use the application over a 2-month period (data collection will occur across 2 sites). We will test the impact of the application on social motivation (EMA reports of social anticipatory pleasure and presence of social interaction) across the intervention period. We will also examine the impact on social functioning, measured with standard clinician-administered assessments, from baseline to 90-day follow-up. Additional clinical, neurocognitive, and social cognitive assessments will be gathered on study participants to identify potential moderators of outcome and predictors of application usability. This study will result in a better understanding of the feasibility and initial impact of a scalable intervention designed to support lasting, sustainable improvements in social functioning in schizophrenia.
Study Design



Motivation and Skills Support (MASS)

San Francisco State University
San Francisco
United States

Not yet recruiting

Boston University Charles River Campus
Results (where available)

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Source: processed this data on January 19, 2018
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