Objective: Schizophrenia is characterized by significant cognitive deficits on attention, memory, executive function, language and/or sensory motor skills. In addition, patients’ profile is frequently characterized by marked deficits in the domain of social cognition. Cognitive rehabilitation aims has recently become an essential component of the rehabilitation process in schizophrenia. However, to date is not clear whether cognitive rehabilitation impacts positively only on the cognitive deficits specifically trained, or whether the positive effects of rehabilitation training may extend also to other domains such as social cognition abilities. Thus, in the present pilot study, we wanted to see whether an intensive cognitive training, in addition to improving neuropsychological abilities, would also have had an impact on social cognition skills. Method: Ten patients affected by schizophrenia were randomly assigned to two groups: a treatment group (n = 5) undergoing an intensive computerized cognitive training, and a control group (n = 5) undergoing an unstructured computerized control intervention. A detailed neuropsychological, clinical, functional and social cognition assessment was performed before and after the intervention for all the patients. Results: A significant longitudinal effect in the treatment group was found for the BACS verbal memory (p = 0.016), and for the comic strip task – non-social (p = 0.032). A trend towards a significant effect was found for the FAB (p = 0.056). Single-case analysis via modified t-test was conducted too. Conclusions: Our preliminary results showed a significant improvement in the cognitive domain after a structured cognitive training. In addition, an improvement in some social cognition abilities was observed too, even if the impact of the cognitive intervention on these abilities was less evident. Implications for further research were discussed.

DO NEUROPSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL COGNITION ABILITIES IN SCHIZOPHRENIA CHANGE AFTER INTENSIVE COGNITIVE TRAINING? A PILOT STUDY

CAVALLO, MARCO;
2013

Abstract

Objective: Schizophrenia is characterized by significant cognitive deficits on attention, memory, executive function, language and/or sensory motor skills. In addition, patients’ profile is frequently characterized by marked deficits in the domain of social cognition. Cognitive rehabilitation aims has recently become an essential component of the rehabilitation process in schizophrenia. However, to date is not clear whether cognitive rehabilitation impacts positively only on the cognitive deficits specifically trained, or whether the positive effects of rehabilitation training may extend also to other domains such as social cognition abilities. Thus, in the present pilot study, we wanted to see whether an intensive cognitive training, in addition to improving neuropsychological abilities, would also have had an impact on social cognition skills. Method: Ten patients affected by schizophrenia were randomly assigned to two groups: a treatment group (n = 5) undergoing an intensive computerized cognitive training, and a control group (n = 5) undergoing an unstructured computerized control intervention. A detailed neuropsychological, clinical, functional and social cognition assessment was performed before and after the intervention for all the patients. Results: A significant longitudinal effect in the treatment group was found for the BACS verbal memory (p = 0.016), and for the comic strip task – non-social (p = 0.032). A trend towards a significant effect was found for the FAB (p = 0.056). Single-case analysis via modified t-test was conducted too. Conclusions: Our preliminary results showed a significant improvement in the cognitive domain after a structured cognitive training. In addition, an improvement in some social cognition abilities was observed too, even if the impact of the cognitive intervention on these abilities was less evident. Implications for further research were discussed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11389/9855
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