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Volume 42 Number 6, November/December 2005
Pages 829 — 838

Abstract - Neurocognitive enhancement therapy with work therapy: Productivity outcomes at 6- and 12-month follow-ups

Morris D. Bell, PhD;1-2* Gary J. Bryson, PsyD;1-2 Tamasine C. Greig, PhD;2 Joanna M. Fiszdon, PhD;1-2 Bruce E. Wexler, MD2

1Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT; 2Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT
Abstract — Neurocognitive enhancement therapy (NET), which involves computerized cognitive training and other methods, has been shown to improve working memory and executive function in schizophrenia. In the present study, 145 outpatients with diagnoses of schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder recruited from a Department of Veterans Affairs mental hygiene clinic and from a community mental health center were randomized to 6 months of paid work therapy (WT) or to NET+WT. Mixed random effects analyses revealed significant increase in hours worked and money earned over time for both conditions (p < 0.0001). NET+WT worked more hours than WT (p < 0.03), with differences emerging after rehabilitation. Responders to NET+WT worked the most during follow-up and tended to have more competitive-wage employment. Results indicate that work outcomes were enhanced by NET training. Effects were greatest for NET responders. Findings support the efficacy of cognitive training when it is integrated into broader rehabilitation programs.
Key words: cognition, cognitive remediation, functional outcomes, neuropsychology, psychiatric rehabilitation, psychosis, psychosocial rehabilitation, schizophrenia, vocational rehabilitation, work therapy.

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