Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
Original Article

Supportive Family Environments Can Improve Treatment Compliance, Social Cognition, Brain Activity in Patients With Schizophrenia – A Pilot Study


Wenzhou Seventh People’s Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, Wenzhou


Jining Medical University, School of Mental Health, Department of Psychiatry,Jining


Department of Psychiatry, The Fourth Center Hospital of Tianjin, Tianjin


Nankai University Affiliated Anding Hospital & Tianjin Anding Hospital, Tianjin Mental Health Center, Department of Psychiatry, Tianjin, China


Department of psychiatry, Nankai University affiliated the fourth center Hospital, Tianjin fourth Center Hospital, Tianjin, China

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2020; 30: 362-368
DOI: 10.5455/PCP.20200222125300
Read: 668 Downloads: 380 Published: 20 January 2021

Background: Supportive family environments can improve the prognosis of patients with schizophrenia by enhancing treatment compliance, social cognition, and functional brain alterations. This study aimed to investigate the impact of supportive family environments on treatment compliance, social cognition, and the associated brain activity features in patients with schizophrenia.

Methods: Patients with schizophrenia (n=40) and healthy controls (n=25) were recruited, and divided into two groups, including (1) supportive family environment group and (2) non-supportive (poor) family environment group. The Adherence Rating Scale (MARS) was adopted to assess treatment compliance. The Basic Empathy Scale (BES) and Social Attribution Task-Multiple Choice were used to assess social cognition. The Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) was used to assess the severity of schizophrenic symptoms. gFCD was used to assess functional brain alterations.

Results: Compared to patients with non-supportive family environments, patients with supportive family environments showed better treatment compliance [8.5 (1.2) vs. 4.5 (1.5), P<0.05] and improved social cognition, as indicated through BES [72.8 (9.0) vs. 64.53 (7.5), P<0.05] and SAT-MC scores [11.50 (4.6) vs. 8.7 (5.0), P<0.05]. Higher brain activity (i.e., increased gFCD) was detected in the medial temporal gyrus, temporoparietal junction, anterior insula cortex, and lingual gyrus.

Conclusions: Findings from this pilot study indicate that supportive family environments not only improve the treatment compliance and social cognition of patients with schizophrenia, but also improve functional brain activity in regions associated with the social cognition processing circuit. Hence, a supportive family environment may substantially impact the prognosis of schizophrenia.

To cite this article: Shan P, Lig, Deguo Jiang D, Chen C, Wang L, Tian H, Li R, Ma X, Chen M, Lin X, Zhuo C, Zhang J. Supportive Family Environments Can Improve Treatment Compliance, Social Cognition, Brain Activity in Patients With Schizophrenia – A Pilot Study. Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2020;30(4):362-368

EISSN 2475-0581