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Cognitive Remediation Benefits Patients With Schizophrenia

Benefits include cognitive and functional outcomes even for severely affected patients

FRIDAY, Aug. 27, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Cognitive remediation is effective for both cognitive and functional outcomes among patients with schizophrenia, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in the August issue of JAMA Psychiatry.

Antonio Vita, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of Brescia in Italy, and colleagues conducted a systematic literature review to identify randomized clinical trials comparing cognitive remediation to any other control condition in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia spectrum disorders.

Based on 130 studies (8,851 participants), the researchers found that cognitive remediation was effective for cognition and functioning. Crucial ingredients of efficacy included an active and trained therapist, structured development of cognitive strategies, and integration with psychosocial rehabilitation. Optimal candidates included patients with fewer years of education, lower premorbid IQ, and higher baseline symptom severity.

“These findings show that cognitive remediation is an evidence-based intervention that should be included consistently into clinical guidelines for the treatment of individuals with schizophrenia and implemented more widely in clinical practice,” the authors write. “Because pharmacological treatment exerts limited effects on cognitive deficits and clinical remission does not necessarily result in functional recovery, widespread implementation of cognitive remediation could be a game-changer for achieving the patient’s personal recovery goals.”

One author disclosed being the creator of CIRCuiTs, a cognitive remediation software.

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