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Keywords:

  • Anhedonia;
  • anticipatory pleasure;
  • cognitive therapy;
  • schizophrenia

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.