Open-label study of cognitive behavioural therapy for individuals with at-risk mental state: Feasibility in the Japanese clinical setting

Early Interv Psychiatry. 2019 Feb;13(1):137-141. doi: 10.1111/eip.12541. Epub 2018 Jan 22.


Aim: To date, most cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) trials for individuals with at-risk metal state (ARMS) have been conducted in few Western countries and its feasibility in other regions, including Japan, has not been established.

Methods: We designed an open-label pilot study. Fourteen ARMS participants received CBT over 6 months and were followed-up for 6 months.

Results: Thirteen individuals completed the CBT intervention and assessments. The mean total score on the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale improved from 60.2 to 46.0 after the intervention (Cohen's d = 1.1). The effects were maintained at the follow-up assessment. One participant transitioned to psychosis after the CBT intervention, and was the only patient who received antipsychotics.

Conclusions: We confirmed the feasibility of the provision of CBT for ARMS in Japan. Since overprescription of antipsychotics is a matter of great concern in Japan, CBT could be a valuable alternative treatment strategy.

Keywords: at-risk mental state; cognitive behavioural therapy; early intervention; psychological treatment; psychosis.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prodromal Symptoms
  • Young Adult