Friday, January 04, 2008

Cognitive remediation and schizophrenia

Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia and is strongly related to functioning in areas such as work, social relationships and independent living. The worse people's cognitive functioning the worse their response is to psychiatric rehabilitation. There has been a lot of research devoted to how to improve cognitive functioning in people with schizophrenia but pharmacological treatments have limited effects. Cognitive remediation programmes employ a variety of methods, such as drill and practice exercises, teaching strategies and compensatory strategies to reduce the effects of persistent cognitive impairments and a review of 26 studies on cognitive remediation including a total of 1,151 patients found that it was associated with significant improvements to cognitive performance, psychosocial functioning and schizophrenia symptoms. The effects of cognitive remediation were significantly stronger in studies where it was used alongside psychiatric rehabilitation.

McGurk, Susan R. ... [et al] - A meta-analysis of cognitive remediation in schizophrenia American Journal of Psychiatry December 2007, 164(12), 1791-1802

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