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Oxytocin and CBSST for People With Schizophrenia

This study has been completed.
Sponsor:
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier:
NCT01752712
First Posted: December 19, 2012
Last Update Posted: December 6, 2017
The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details.
Collaborator:
University of California, San Diego
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Robert W. Buchanan, University of Maryland
December 14, 2012
December 19, 2012
October 2, 2017
October 31, 2017
December 6, 2017
January 2014
August 2016   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Birchwood Social Function Scale (BSFS) Total Score [ Time Frame: Treatment weeks 0, 12, and 24, plus follow-up week 36 ]
Determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo is associated with improved social function. There are 7 individual sections, with each section asking about different aspects of social functioning. Scores for Section 1: "Social Engagement Withdrawal" range from 0-15; Section 2: "Interpersonal Communication/Relationships" ranges from 0-30; Section 3: "Prosocial Activities" range is 0-66; Section 4: "Recreation" ranges from 0-48; Section 5: "Independence (Performance)" ranges from 0-39; Section 6: "Independence (Competence)" ranges from 0-39; and Section 7: "Occupation/Employment" ranges from 0-6 if the participant is unemployed or 7-10 if the participant is employed. The total BSFS score is calculated by adding the total scores from each of the 7 sections, with a maximum total score of 247. A lower total score indicates a lower social function rating.
Determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo is associated with improved social function. [ Time Frame: 3 years ]
Efficacy
Complete list of historical versions of study NCT01752712 on ClinicalTrials.gov Archive Site
  • Defeatist Performance Attitudes Scale (DPAS) Total Score [ Time Frame: Treatment weeks 0, 12, and 24, plus follow-up week 36 ]
    Determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo is associated with defeatist performance beliefs. The total DPAS score is calculated by adding the scores for scales #1-#18. Each scale ranges from "1=Agree Totally" to "7=Disagree Totally". Total scores range from a minimum score of 18 to a maximum score of 126. Reverse scoring was applied to make higher scores indicate a stronger defeatist attitude.
  • Asocial Belief Scale (ABS) Total Score [ Time Frame: Treatment weeks 0, 12, and 24, plus follow-up week 36 ]
    Determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo is associated with asocial beliefs. The total ABS score is calculated by adding the scores for items #1-#15. Each scale is provided a True/False response, with True responses equaling 1 point and False responses equaling 0 points. In calculating the ABS total score, four of the 15 items of the ABS were reverse scored. A lower total score indicates more severe asocial beliefs.
  • Schedule for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) Total Score [ Time Frame: Every 4 weeks during the treatment phase, plus follow-up week 36 ]
    SANS total score range = 0-85. Higher scores indicate more severe negative symptoms.
  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) Total Score [ Time Frame: Every 4 weeks during the treatment phase, plus follow-up week 36 ]
    The total BPRS score is calculated by adding the scores for scales #1-#18. Each scale ranges from "1=Not Present" to "7=Very Severe". Total scores range from a minimum score of 18 to a maximum score of 126. A higher total score indicates a more severe psychiatric symptom rating.
  • Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) Psychosis Score [ Time Frame: Every 4 weeks during the treatment phase, plus follow-up week 36 ]
    The psychosis score is calculated by adding the scores for scales #4 Conceptual Disorganization, #11 Suspiciousness, #12 Hallucinatory Behavior, and #15 Unusual Thought Content. Each scale ranges from "1=Not Present" to "7=Very Severe". The minimum psychosis score is 4 and the maximum psychosis score is 28. A higher score indicates a more severe psychosis rating.
Determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo is associated with increased incidence of side effects. [ Time Frame: 3 years ]
Not Provided
Determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo is associated with reduced social aversion, including social disinterest and defeatist performance beliefs; increased ability to trust others; and/or improved performance on facial recognition and [ Time Frame: 3 years ]
Change Mechanism
 
Oxytocin and CBSST for People With Schizophrenia
Combined Oxytocin and CBSST for Social Function in People With Schizophrenia
A significant proportion of people with schizophrenia are characterized by impaired ability to socially engage with others, which may reflect social aversion secondary to defeatist beliefs; decreased motivation for social interactions; and/or impairment in the normal reinforcement value of social interactions. These impairments in social function have been shown to be associated with social skill deficits; and decreased ability to identify and remember emotional facial expressions and empathize with the emotional status of others. Unfortunately, pharmacological interventions have limited benefits for impaired social function, whereas psychosocial interventions provide only partial benefit for this critical aspect of the illness. The development of an effective intervention for functional outcomes remains a central therapeutic challenge. Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training (CBSST) uses corrective feedback and reinforcement provided by successful interactions to challenge and reduce defeatist performance beliefs that contribute to low drive and interfere with social functioning. CBSST has been shown to have modest effects on social function in people with schizophrenia. Oxytocin plays a critical role in the regulation of normal social affiliative behavior; it is hypothesized to enhance social affiliation through the reduction of anxiety or social risk aversion; the enhancement of motivation for prosocial approach behavior; and/or increased modulation of the salience and processing of social cues. People with schizophrenia have decreased oxytocin levels, which are associated with an impaired ability to identify facial emotions and decreased prosocial behaviors. The study will be comprised of three phases: 1) 2-week Evaluation Phase; 2) 24-week Double-blind Treatment Phase; and 3) 3-month Follow-up Phase.

A NIMH mission priority is the development of new and better interventions, whose focus extends beyond symptom amelioration to the development of interventions that allow people who suffer from severe mental illnesses "to live full and productive lives" (NIMH Strategic Plan, 2008). In particular, the NIMH Strategic Plan notes the importance of translating "research on the biological causes of disorder to inform and develop psychosocial and biomedical interventions that target core features of disease, assess outcomes appropriate to the course of illness under study, and develop study designs that have impact on these features." The current proposal is built upon the observations that: 1) people with schizophrenia are characterized by marked impairments in their social function; 2) current pharmacological treatments do not address these impairments; 3) CBSST has been shown to have modest effects on social function in people with schizophrenia. This limited efficacy may be related to the lack of interest or drive people with schizophrenia have for social interactions; 4) oxytocin plays a critical role in normal social affiliative behavior through a) the reduction of anxiety or social risk aversion, b) the enhancement of motivation for prosocial approach or affiliative behavior, and/or c) increased modulation of the salience and processing of social cues; and 5) decreased oxytocin is associated with social function impairments in people with schizophrenia.

The proposed study is based on the proposition that the use of a pharmacological agent, whose behavioral effects compliment the psychological mechanisms of action of a psychosocial intervention, is an important adaptation of an intervention previously shown to have moderate effects on social function. The addition of oxytocin to CBSST is hypothesized to: 1) enhance the reduction of defeatist performance beliefs by reducing social risk aversiveness and avoidance, which would increase exposure to reinforcement and corrective feedback; 2) enhance social skill acquisition through improvement of proximal social behaviors, e.g. making eye contact and attending to the facial expressions of social partners; and 3) facilitate the translation of learned social skills into community practice through its effects on prosocial attachment behaviors, reduction in social disinterest, and effects on distal behaviors, e.g. initiating conversations and responding to social invitations. Increased social risk taking within and between sessions would expose participants to a greater frequency of positive feedback and success experiences, which would provide evidence to dispute their defeatist beliefs and social disinterest attitudes. In addition, increased social risk taking could improve homework adherence (e.g., practicing talking to people in the community) and engagement in new community activities. These interactive effects would subsequently lead to a substantial improvement in CBSST efficacy for social function. Ultimately, the importance of improved social function is the effect that such improvement would have on overall levels of health and functioning, including vocational outcome.

The proposed study will enable us to collect preliminary data on the acceptability, efficacy, feasibility, and safety of the proposed intervention. In particular, this would be the first study to examine the safety of long-term oxytocin in this population. The study will also provide critical data on the feasibility of recruiting and retaining participants with schizophrenia in a long-term intervention, which combines two different therapeutic modalities: CBSST and oxytocin. If found to be efficacious, feasible, and well-tolerated, we will plan to conduct a larger study, which would include the use of cognitive and imaging biomarkers, to more fully elucidate the mechanism of action of the observed treatment effects. The investigators will address the following specific aims:

Aim #1 (Efficacy): To determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo-oxytocin is associated with improved social function.

Aim #2 (Safety): To determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo-oxytocin is associated with increased incidence of side effects.

Aim #3 (Change Mechanism): To determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo-oxytocin is associated with reduced social aversion, including social disinterest and defeatist performance beliefs; increased ability to trust others; and/or improved performance on facial recognition and memory measures.

Aim #4 (Other Outcomes): To determine if CBSST + oxytocin compared to CBSST + placebo-oxytocin is associated with improved neuropsychological test performance, and/or decreased positive, negative, and/or anxiety/depression symptoms, and clinical global improvement.

Interventional
Not Provided
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Triple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
  • Schizophrenia
  • Schizoaffective Disorder
  • Drug: CBSST + Oxytocin
    The oxytocin dose of 80 IU/day, will be administered in two divided doses: 40 IU in the morning and 40 IU in the evening. Oxytocin will be administered intranasally (10 puffs of the spray, 5 in each nostril at each administration). CBSST groups will occur for an hour twice/week. Nasal spray will be administered an hour prior to the CBSST group.
  • Drug: CBSST + Placebo
    Matching placebo spray will be administered intranasally (10 puffs of the spray, 5 in each nostril at each administration). CBSST groups will occur for an hour twice/week. Nasal spray will be administered an hour prior to the CBSST group.
    Other Name: sugar pill
  • Experimental: CBSST + oxytocin
    Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training with adjunct oxytocin nasal spray treatment. Participants will receive 80 IU/day of oxytocin administered intranasally in two doses (40 IU morning and evening).
    Intervention: Drug: CBSST + Oxytocin
  • Placebo Comparator: CBSST + placebo
    Cognitive Behavioral Social Skills Training with placebo nasal spray. The placebo nasal spray bottles will be matched in appearance to the oxytocin nasal spray bottles and similarly administered intranasally in two doses (morning and evening).
    Intervention: Drug: CBSST + Placebo
Not Provided

*   Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number) in Medline.
 
Completed
83
August 2016
August 2016   (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder
  2. Scale for the Assessment of Negative Symptoms asociality item score ≥ 2
  3. Considered clinically stable by the treating psychiatrist
  4. Stable treatment with the same antipsychotic for at least 60 days and the same dose for at least the 30 days prior to study entry.
  5. Male or female of any race.

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. Organic brain disorder, including cerebrovascular accident; epilepsy; traumatic brain injury, loss of consciousness (LOC) for more than 30 minutes
  2. Mental retardation
  3. Medical conditions, whose pathology or treatment could alter the presentation or treatment of schizophrenia or significantly increase the risk associated with the proposed treatment protocol
  4. Participant is pregnant or is lactating
  5. History of chronic allergic rhinitis
  6. DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of alcohol or substance dependence (except nicotine) within the last 6 months, or participant has met dependence criteria for 5 years or more.
  7. DSM-IV-TR diagnosis of alcohol or substance abuse (except nicotine) within the last month
  8. Participant has a past history of polydypsic hyponatremia (defined by sodium levels below 130 mmol/L) or has a current sodium level below 135 mmol/L
  9. Participant with EKG evidence of any of the following cardiac arrhythmias: QTc prolongation (Males: 450 msec or greater; females: 470 msec or greater); atrial fibrillation; ventricular or supraventricular tachycardia; and 2nd or 3rd degree A-V Block
Sexes Eligible for Study: All
18 Years to 55 Years   (Adult)
No
Contact information is only displayed when the study is recruiting subjects
United States
 
 
NCT01752712
HP-00054628
Yes
Not Provided
Not Provided
Robert W. Buchanan, University of Maryland
University of Maryland
University of California, San Diego
Principal Investigator: Robert Buchanan, MD University of Maryland
University of Maryland
November 2017

ICMJE     Data element required by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors and the World Health Organization ICTRP