Natural cognitive coping strategies in schizophrenia
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Recent attention has focused on cognitive-behavioural treatment (CBT) for psychotic thinking. These interventions may be especially appropriate for drug-resistant patients or as an adjunct to pharmacotherapy. However, CBT for schizophrenia was developed in the absence of any systematic investigation of personal self-statements that psychotic individuals develop on their own. The current investigation explored the natural cognitive strategies of 10 community-based persons with schizophrenia. An exploratory interview was employed as the method of inquiry. A data bank of 344 statements was obtained from which 55 pertained to coping strategies. The results were interpreted using the grounded theory method (GTM) of qualitative analysis. Systematic analysis of the meaning units yielded a major category called coping self-talk which pertained to cognitive strategies (the focus of this research report). This category was composed of nine lower-level categories; that is, nine types of self-talk that persons with schizophrenia use actively in their own efforts toward managing psychotic symptoms were identified. These naturalistic coping strategies could provide useful guides for directing cognitive interventions.
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