Development and pilot testing of a new psychosocial intervention for older Latinos with chronic psychosis

Schizophr Bull. 2005 Oct;31(4):922-30. doi: 10.1093/schbul/sbi036. Epub 2005 Jul 21.


Latinos constitute the largest minority in the United States, and there is an increasing number of Latino patients with schizophrenia and other psychoses living into old age. However, few specific behavioral interventions have been developed aimed at improving the functioning of this group. We evaluated a psychosocial intervention designed to improve the everyday living skills of middle-aged and older outpatients with very chronic psychotic disorders. Three psychiatric clinics, specializing in care of Latinos, were randomly assigned to (1) a 24-session intervention entitled Programa de Entrenamiento para el Desarrollo de Aptitudes para Latinos (PEDAL) group therapy (n = 21) targeting areas identified in our previous work as being problematic for this population (e.g., using public transportation) or (2) a time-equivalent friendly support group (SG; n = 8). Compared to the patients randomized to SG, PEDAL-treated patients' performance on everyday living skills improved significantly postintervention and was still significantly better at a 6-month maintenance follow-up period and at a 12-month no-treatment follow-up period. There was no significant change in psychopathology. Limitations of this pilot study are discussed. Results suggest that participation in this skills training program, designed specifically for older Latino patients with long-standing psychotic disorders, has the potential to significantly increase the patients' independence and improve functional skills.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Outpatients
  • Psychotherapy, Group*
  • Psychotic Disorders / ethnology*
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy*
  • Social Support
  • Treatment Outcome