A randomized controlled trial about ESTS!

Our paper on the randomized controlled trial where we compared ESTS (Evolutionary Systems Therapy for Schizotypy) versus a combination of CBT and drugs is out! Finally, BMC Psychiatry has published it as an open access article.

The trial (ESTS versus CBT: Randomized Trial) reported very encouraging findings! Despite the pilot nature of the study, ESTS (withoud medication) showed at least a non-inferiority in respect to a good psychiatric managment comprising cognitive therapy for personality disorders and psychopharmacological treatment. ESTS reported drop-out rates below 10% and remission from diagnosis in 3 out of 4 patients.

I previously posted updates about the trial, the theoretical foundation of ESTS, and a new confermatory study we are starting in short, but this is very thrilling news! We can now consider ESTS a treatment that is elegible to test as therapy for schizotypy.

First, ESTS is rooted on a specific theoretical model. The clinical manifestations of schizotypy would be the failure in socializing one’s own openness to experience and introversion, leading to an impairment in metacognition and self-soothing.

Second, ESTS is based on a specific protocol comprising four modules: sharing, subjective systemts, intersubjective systems, and consolidation. The first is aimed to share the conceptualization and work on therapeutic alliance, the second and third to promote a mind-body awareness of subjective and interusbjective experience respectively, and the fourth to prevent relapses.

Finaly, a new RCT will compare ESTS with CBT without any mandatory treatment. People will be allowed to access to psychopharmacotherpy, but this will be considered as an exclusion criterion from the study (regardless of the arm they are randomized to)

Below you can find a video-summary of the study!

Cheli, S., Cavalletti, V., Lysaker, P. H., Dimaggio, D., Petrocchi, N., Chiarello, F., Enzo, C., Velicogna, F., Mancini, F., & Goldzweig, G. (2023). A pilot randomized controlled trial comparing a novel compassion and metacognition approach for schizotypal personality disorder with a combination of cognitive therapy and psychopharmacological treatment. BMC Psychiatry, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12888-023-04610-5