Anticipatory pleasure skills training: a new intervention to reduce anhedonia in schizophrenia

Perspect Psychiatr Care. 2010 Jul;46(3):171-81. doi: 10.1111/j.1744-6163.2010.00255.x.


Purpose: Anhedonia is a challenging symptom of schizophrenia and remains largely recalcitrant to current pharmacological treatments. The goal of this exploratory pilot study was to assess if a cognitive-sensory intervention could improve anticipatory pleasure.

Design and methods: Five participants meeting the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edition, Text Revision) criteria for schizophrenia, presenting severe anhedonia and stabilized on atypical antipsychotic medication, received between 10 hours and 25 hours of training.

Findings: Results show that the patients improved on the anticipatory scale of the Temporal Experience of Pleasure Scale. Daily activities of the patients were also increased.

Practice implications: These preliminary data need to be interpreted with caution given the small sample of the study, but they offer promising paths to develop new interventions to alleviate anhedonia in schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living / psychology
  • Adult
  • Affective Symptoms / nursing*
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Aged
  • Antipsychotic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Apathy*
  • Cognition Disorders / nursing*
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy / methods*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation
  • Personality Inventory
  • Pilot Projects
  • Pleasure*
  • Schizophrenia / nursing*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Set, Psychology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antipsychotic Agents