Volume 44 Number 5 2007
Pages 761 — 770

Abstract - Neurocognitive enhancement therapy with work therapy in schizophrenia: 6-month follow-up of neuropsychological performance

Morris Bell, PhD;1-2 Joanna Fiszdon, PhD;1-2* Tamasine Greig, PhD;2 Bruce Wexler, MD;2 Gary Bryson, PsyD1-2

1Department of Veterans Affairs Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT; 2Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT

Abstract — Cognitive deficits are a major determinant of social and occupational dysfunction in schizophrenia, and new treatments are needed that address these impairments. The current study determined whether neurocognitive enhancement therapy (NET) in combination with work therapy (WT) would show improvement in performance on neuropsychological tests that endured 6 months after completion of training. A total of 145 participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder were randomly assigned to NET + WT or WT alone. NET included computer-based training on attention, memory, and executive function tasks. WT included paid work activity in job placements at the medical center. Neuropsychological assessment was performed at baseline, at the end of the 6-month active intervention, and 12 months after training began. Repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance revealed greater neuropsychological improvements on working memory (p < 0.05) and executive function (p < 0.05) for the NET + WT group over the 12 months. Both groups showed sustained improvements on verbal and nonverbal memory.

Clinical Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT00430560; <http://clinicaltrials.gov/>.

Key words: cognition, neurocognition, neuropsychology, psychosis, rehabilitation, remediation, schizoaffective disorder, schizophrenia, vocational rehabilitation, work therapy.

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