Using video-annotation software to identify interactions in group therapies for schizophrenia: assessing reliability and associations with outcomes
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BACKGROUND: Research has shown that interactions in group therapies for people with schizophrenia are associated with a reduction in negative symptoms. However, it is unclear which specific interactions in groups are linked with these improvements. The aims of this exploratory study were to i) develop and test the reliability of using video-annotation software to measure interactions in group therapies in schizophrenia and ii) explore the relationship between interactions in group therapies for schizophrenia with clinically relevant changes in negative symptoms. METHODS: Video-annotation software was used to annotate interactions from participants selected across nine video-recorded out-patient therapy groups (N = 81). Using the Individual Group Member Interpersonal Process Scale, interactions were coded from participants who demonstrated either a clinically significant improvement (N = 9) or no change (N = 8) in negative symptoms at the end of therapy. Interactions were measured from the first and last sessions of attendance (>25 h of therapy). Inter-rater reliability between two independent raters was measured. Binary logistic regression analysis was used to explore the association between the frequency of interactive behaviors and changes in negative symptoms, assessed using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. RESULTS: Of the 1275 statements that were annotated using ELAN, 1191 (93%) had sufficient audio and visual quality to be coded using the Individual Group Member Interpersonal Process Scale. Rater-agreement was high across all interaction categories (>95% average agreement). A higher frequency of self-initiated statements measured in the first session was associated with improvements in negative symptoms. The frequency of questions and giving advice measured in the first session of attendance was associated with improvements in negative symptoms; although this was only a trend. CONCLUSION: Video-annotation software can be used to reliably identify interactive behaviors in groups for schizophrenia. The results suggest that proactive communicative gestures, as assessed by the video-analysis, predict outcomes. Future research should use this novel method in larger and clinically different samples to explore which aspects of therapy facilitate such proactive communication early on in therapy.
This study was supported by a grant from the East London NHS Foundation Trust.
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Vol. 17, article 65
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