Supplementing intensive targeted computerized cognitive training with social cognitive exercises for people with schizophrenia: An interim report

Melissa Fisher, Mor Nahum, Elizabeth Howard, Abby Rowlands, Benjamin Brandrett, Amy Kermott, Joshua Woolley, Sophia Vinogradov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals with schizophrenia demonstrate cognitive, social cognitive, and motivational deficits that contribute to impairment in real-world functioning. In the current study, we investigated the effects of supplementing computerized neurocognitive training with social cognitive exercises, as compared with neurocognitive training alone. Method: In this ongoing, double-blind, randomized controlled trial of 111 participants with psychosis, we compare the effects of supplementing intensive targeted cognitive training with social cognitive training exercises (TCT - SCT) with the effects of targeted cognitive training alone (TCT-only). Participants were assessed on cognition, symptoms, functional capacity, and functional outcomes, as well as social cognition and measures related to reward processing. Results: Both treatment groups showed significant improvement in multiple cognitive domains and improvement in functional capacity. However, as predicted, TCT - SCT group participants showed significant improvement in prosody identification and reward processing relative to TCT-only participants. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: Our findings indicate that supplementing intensive computerized cognitive training with social cognitive exercises in people with psychosis confers greater benefits in prosody identification and reward processing relative to cognitive training alone, even though both approaches drive significant improvements in cognition and functional capacity. Impairments in both prosody identification and reward processing have been associated with greater negative symptoms and poorer functional outcomes in schizophrenia, raising the possibility that this form of treatment may lead to better long-term outcomes than traditional cognitive training approaches. Follow-up assessments will determine whether results are durable and generalize over time to improvements in symptoms and functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalPsychiatric rehabilitation journal
Volume40
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017

Keywords

  • Ccognitive remediation
  • Motion perception
  • Motivation
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Social cognition

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