for people ages 18-60 (full criteria)
at La Jolla, California
study started
estimated completion
Principal Investigator
by Eric Granholm, Ph.D.
Photo of Eric Granholm
Eric Granholm



This randomized controlled clinical trial will test a combined group contact plus mobile CBT-informed skills training intervention targeting defeatist attitudes in consumers with schizophrenia in comparison to a supportive contact control group in order to change motivational negative symptoms linked to defeatist attitudes.

Official Title

Mobile-assisted Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Negative Symptoms in Schizophrenia: An RCT


The primary purpose of this project is to determine if mCBTn at the optimal dose from the R61 produces greater reduction in severity of defeatist attitudes than a supportive contact control group in consumers with schizophrenia spectrum disorders with persistent moderate-to-severe experiential negative symptoms. A second aim is to determine whether reduction in defeatist attitudes mediates improvement in experiential negative symptoms and psychosocial functioning in mCBTn. The third aim is to determine whether mCBTn increases pupil dilation and whether changes in pupil dilation (an objective psychophysiological biomarker of effort) are associated with changes in defeatist attitudes and negative symptoms. The final aim is to explore predictors of response to mCBTn, including device use and group session adherence, demographics, neurocognitive impairment, and negative and other symptom severity at baseline.


Schizophrenia Schizoaffective Disorder CBT Mobile CBT Negative Symptoms Psychotic Disorders Mobile-assisted CBT-informed Skills Training Supportive Contact


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18-60

  • DSM-5 diagnosis of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder based on the MINI and record review.
  • Meets prospective criteria for persistent moderate-to-severe experiential negative symptoms in at least two of the three CAINS Motivation and Pleasure domains (mean of 2 -moderate- or greater for items averaged within the Social, Work or Recreational domains) at the beginning and end of a 2-week evaluation phase.
  • Moderate-to-severe defeatist attitudes (DPAS > 50).
  • ≥ 6th grade reading level on the Wide Range Achievement Test-4 Reading subtest (needed for reading treatment manual consumer workbook).
  • Clinically stable and stable on current medications (no changes within 3 months prior to enrollment and meeting all inclusion/

You CAN'T join if...

during longitudinal baseline evaluation at both week -2 and 0).

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Prior CBT in the past 2 years.
  • Greater than moderate PANSS positive symptoms (P1-Delusions, P2- Disorganization, P3-Hallucinations, or P6-Suspiciousness - any item >5).
  • Severe depression on the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia (CDS >8).
  • Extrapyramidal symptoms.
  • Ocular damage, disease, surgery or medications that affect pupil dilation.
  • DSM-5 alcohol or substance use disorder in past 3 months based on the MINI.
  • Level of care required interferes with outpatient skills training (e.g., hospitalized; severe medical illness).
  • Unable to adequately see or manually manipulate the mobile device.


  • UC San Diego accepting new patients
    La Jolla California 92093 United States

Lead Scientist at UCSD

  • Eric Granholm, Ph.D.
    Dr. Granholm is Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the Center for Mental Health Technology at UC San Diego, and Chief of Psychology and Co-Section Chief of Psychosocial Rehabilitation and Recovery Services at the VA San Diego Healthcare System. He received his Ph.D.


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
Eric Granholm
Study Type
Last Updated