0
Get Alert
Please Wait... Processing your request... Please Wait.
You must sign in to sign-up for alerts.

Please confirm that your email address is correct, so you can successfully receive this alert.

1
Letters   |    
Problem Solving and Social Skills Training
Hector W. H. Tsang, Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2002; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.53.8.1034

To the Editor: I am writing in reference to the Rehab Rounds column in the January 2001 issue of Psychiatric Services about training in social problem solving among persons with schizophrenia (1). Dr. Liberman and his colleagues successfully demonstrated the generalization effect of social skills training through the provision of training in problem solving to the clients.

As a researcher in social skills training, I would like to share my experience that problem solving is a key element of success in any social skills training module. I have conducted three controlled studies related to social skills training (2,3,4). In each of the studies, the participants who received social skills training outperformed the control participants in terms of both vocational and nonvocational generalization measures. For example, in a study in which social skills were taught to people with schizophrenia to help them obtain and keep jobs (4), 14 of 30 (47 percent) of the participants in the experimental group were able to acquire a job and had maintained it at a three-month follow-up. One of the reasons for the high success rate might have been the incorporation of problem-solving training into the module. In the last session of the module and at the subsequent follow-up sessions, the main emphasis was on social problem solving using principles similar to those used in Liberman's study.

The results showed that participants who received training in social problem solving had significantly better vocational outcomes than those who received only the traditional skills training module without elements of social problem solving. Clinical observation suggested that the participants who became equipped with problem-solving skills were better able to solve problems related to getting a job. Even though they had failed in previous attempts to secure employment, they were more motivated to continue the process. They were also more motivated to solve interpersonal problems in the workplace once they had found a job.

Although social skills training has received a vast amount of support in the literature, it has been criticized for lack of a generalization effect. In addition, it has been challenged by the success of "place-train" philosophy and supported employment for people with severe mental illness (5). To me, incorporating problem solving into traditional social skills training modules is the key to further development of the skills training approach in the current mainstream of evidence-based practices.

The effect of problem solving on the generalization of social skills training should be examined in a more controlled way. Projects are under way in Hong Kong that aim to isolate the effect of problem solving by comparing social skills modules with and without a focus on problem solving.

Dr. Tsang is affiliated with the department of rehabilitation sciences of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Liberman RP, Eckman TA, Marder SR: Training in social problem solving among persons with schizophrenia. Psychiatric Services 52:31-33,  2001
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang S, Tsang HWH: Social skills training group for psychiatric out-patients: a Hong Kong experience. Journal of the Hong Kong Psychiatric Association 7:34-38,  1988
 
Tsang HWH: Social performance, work success, and social skills training for schizophrenics in Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong, 1992
 
Tsang HWH, Pearson V: Work-related social skills training for people with schizophrenia in Hong Kong. Schizophrenia Bulletin 27:139-148,  2001
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang HWH, Chan F, Bond G: Psychiatric rehabilitation and supported employment: an interview with Professor Gary Bond. Hong Kong Journal of Mental Health 30(l):10-31,  2002
 
+

References

Liberman RP, Eckman TA, Marder SR: Training in social problem solving among persons with schizophrenia. Psychiatric Services 52:31-33,  2001
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang S, Tsang HWH: Social skills training group for psychiatric out-patients: a Hong Kong experience. Journal of the Hong Kong Psychiatric Association 7:34-38,  1988
 
Tsang HWH: Social performance, work success, and social skills training for schizophrenics in Hong Kong. City Polytechnic of Hong Kong, 1992
 
Tsang HWH, Pearson V: Work-related social skills training for people with schizophrenia in Hong Kong. Schizophrenia Bulletin 27:139-148,  2001
[PubMed]
[CrossRef]
 
Tsang HWH, Chan F, Bond G: Psychiatric rehabilitation and supported employment: an interview with Professor Gary Bond. Hong Kong Journal of Mental Health 30(l):10-31,  2002
 
+
+

CME Activity

There is currently no quiz available for this resource. Please click here to go to the CME page to find another.
Submit a Comments
Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discertion of APA editorial staff.

* = Required Field
(if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
Example: John Doe



Web of Science® Times Cited: 2

Related Content
Books
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 22.  >
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 5.  >
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 20.  >
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 22.  >
Gabbard's Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, 4th Edition > Chapter 5.  >
Topic Collections
Psychiatric News
PubMed Articles