Objective-This study evaluated the effects of cognitive remediation for improving cognitive performance, symptoms, and psychosocial functioning in schizophrenia.Method-A meta-analysis was conducted of 26 randomized, controlled trials of cognitive remediation in schizophrenia including 1,151 patients.Results-Cognitive remediation was associated with significant improvements across all three outcomes, with a medium effect size for cognitive performance (0.41), a slightly lower effect size for psychosocial functioning (0.36), and a small effect size for symptoms (0.28). The effects of cognitive remediation on psychosocial functioning were significantly stronger in studies that provided adjunctive psychiatric rehabilitation than in those that provided cognitive remediation alone.Conclusions-Cognitive remediation produces moderate improvements in cognitive performance and, when combined with psychiatric rehabilitation, also improves functional outcomes.Cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia, with converging evidence showing that it is strongly related to functioning in areas such as work, social relationships, and independent living (1, 2). Furthermore, cognitive functioning is a robust predictor of response to psychiatric rehabilitation (i.e., systematic efforts to improve the psychosocial functioning of persons with severe mental illness) (3), including outcomes such as work, social skills, and self-care (1,4,5). Because of the importance of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, it has been identified as an appropriate target for interventions (6).Currently available pharmacological treatments have limited effects on cognition in schizophrenia (7,8) and even less impact on community functioning (9). To address the problem of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, a range of cognitive remediation programs has been developed and evaluated over the past 40 years. These programs employ a variety of methods, such as drill and practice exercises, teaching strategies to improve cognitive functioning, compensatory strategies to reduce the effects of persistent cognitive impairments, and group discussions. Several reviews of research on cognitive rehabilitation in schizophrenia have been published (10-13). The general conclusions from these reviews have been that cognitive remediation NIH-PA Author ManuscriptNIH-PA Author Manuscript NIH-PA Author Manuscript leads to modest improvements in performance on neuropsychological tests but has no impact on functional outcomes. However, these reviews were limited by the relatively small number of studies that actually measured psychosocial functioning, precluding any definitive conclusions about the effects of cognitive remediation on psychosocial adjustment or the identification of program characteristics that may contribute to such effects. The rationale for cognitive remediation is chiefly predicated on its presumed effects on psychosocial functioning and improved response to rehabilitation. Therefore, a critical examination of the effects of cognitive ...
This research assessed the lifetime prevalence of traumatic events and current posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 275 patients with severe mental illness (e.g., schizophrenia and bipolar disorder) receiving public mental health services in Concord and Manchester, New Hampshire, and Baltimore, Maryland. Lifetime exposure to traumatic events was high, with 98% of the sample reporting exposure to at least 1 traumatic event. The rate of PTSD in our sample was 43%, but only 3 of 119 patients with PTSD (2%) had this diagnosis in their charts. PTSD was predicted most strongly by the number of different types of trauma, followed by childhood sexual abuse. The findings suggest that PTSD is a common comorbid disorder in severe mental illness that is frequently overlooked in mental health settings.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that is among the world's top ten causes of long-term disability. The symptoms of schizophrenia include psychosis, apathy and withdrawal, and cognitive impairment, which lead to problems in social and occupational functioning, and self-care. About 1% of the population is affected by schizophrenia, with similar rates across different countries, cultural groups, and sexes. The illness tends to develop between the ages of 16 and 30 years, and mostly persists throughout the patient's lifetime. The cause of schizophrenia is unknown, but evidence suggests that genetic factors, early environmental influences (eg, obstetric complications), and social factors (eg, poverty) contribute. No biological alterations are pathognomonic of schizophrenia, although several pathophysiological differences exist in a wide range of brain structures. Antipsychotic medications are the mainstay for managing schizophrenia. A range of psychosocial treatments are also helpful, including family intervention, supported employment, cognitive-behaviour therapy for psychosis, social skills training, teaching illness self-management skills, assertive community treatment, and integrated treatment for co-occurring substance misuse.
We describe different models of community care for persons with severe mental illness and review the research literature on case management, including the results of 75 studies. Most research has been conducted on the assertive community treatment (ACT) or intensive case management (ICM) models. Controlled research on ACT and ICM indicates that these models reduce time in the hospital and improve housing stability, especially among patients who are high service users. ACT and ICM appear to have moderate effects on improving symptomatology and quality of life. Most studies suggest little effect of ACT and ICM on social functioning, arrests and time spent in jail, or vocational functioning. Studies on reducing or withdrawing ACT or ICM services suggest some deterioration in gains. Research on other models of community care is inconclusive. We discuss the implications of the findings in terms of the need for specialization of ACT or ICM teams to address social and vocational functioning and substance abuse. We suggest directions for future research on models of community care, including evaluating implementation fidelity, exploring patient predictors of improvement, and evaluating the role of the helping alliance in mediating outcome.
Objective The primary aim was to compare the impact of NAVIGATE, a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, team-based treatment approach for first episode psychosis designed for implementation in the U.S. healthcare system, to Community Care on quality of life. Methods Thirty-four clinics in 21 states were randomly assigned to NAVIGATE or Community Care. Diagnosis, duration of untreated psychosis and clinical outcomes were assessed via live, two-way video by remote, centralized raters masked to study design and treatment. Participants (mean age 23) with schizophrenia and related disorders and ≤6 months antipsychotic treatment (N=404) were enrolled and followed for ≥2 years. The primary outcome was the Total Score of the Heinrichs-Carpenter Quality of Life Scale, a measure that includes sense of purpose, motivation, emotional and social interactions, role functioning and engagement in regular activities. Results 223 NAVIGATE recipients remained in treatment longer, experienced greater improvement in quality of life, psychopathology and involvement in work/school compared to 181 Community Care participants. The median duration of untreated psychosis=74 weeks. NAVIGATE participants with duration of untreated psychosis <74 weeks had greater improvement in quality of life and psychopathology compared with those with longer duration of untreated psychosis and those in Community Care. Rates of hospitalization were relatively low compared to other first episode psychosis clinical trials and did not differ between groups. Conclusions Comprehensive care for first episode psychosis can be implemented in U.S. community clinics. and improves functional and clinical outcomes. Effects are more pronounced for those with shorter duration of untreated psychosis.
The FOCUS smartphone intervention was developed to provide automated real-time/real-place illness management support to individuals with schizophrenia. The system was specifically designed to be usable by people with psychotic disorders who may have cognitive impairment, psychotic symptoms, negative symptoms, and/or low reading levels. FOCUS offers users both prescheduled and on-demand resources to facilitate symptom management, mood regulation, medication adherence, social functioning, and improved sleep. In this study, 33 individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder used FOCUS over a 1-month period in their own environments. Participants were able to learn how to use the intervention independently, and all but one participant completed the trial successfully and returned the smartphones intact. Completers used the system on 86.5% of days they had the device, an average of 5.2 times a day. Approximately 62% of use of the FOCUS intervention was initiated by the participants, and 38% of use was in response to automated prompts. Baseline levels of cognitive functioning, negative symptoms, persecutory ideation, and reading level were not related to participants' use of the intervention. Approximately 90% of participants rated the intervention as highly acceptable and usable. Paired samples t tests found significant reductions in psychotic symptoms, depression, and general psychopathology, after 1 month of FOCUS use. This study demonstrated the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of the FOCUS intervention for schizophrenia and introduces a new treatment model which has promise for extending the reach of evidence-based care beyond the confines of a physical clinic using widely available technologies.
This article evaluates the efficacy, effectiveness, and clinical significance of empirically supported couple and family interventions for treating marital distress and individual adult disorders, including anxiety disorders, depression, sexual dysfunctions, alcoholism and problem drinking, and schizophrenia. In addition to consideration of different theoretical approaches to treating these disorders, different ways of including a partner or family in treatment are highlighted: (a) partner-family-assisted interventions, (b) disorder-specific partner-family interventions, and (c)more general couple-family therapy. Findings across diagnostic groups and issues involved in applying efficacy criteria to these populations are discussed.Since the 1970s, there has been a major shift in knowledge regarding the effectiveness of couple-based and family-based interventions for treating adult mental health problems. During this period, various theoretical perspectives have been articulated, specific manual-based intervention strategies have been developed, and controlled treatment outcome investigations have explored a number of specific issues of importance. The current article examines the empirical status of these couple-and family-based interventions for treating (a) marital distress and (b) adult individual diagnosable disorders. More explicitly, the primary goal of this article is to use the criteria put forth by Chambless and Hollon (1998) to evaluate the efficacy, clinical significance, and effectiveness of various interventions that involve a couple or family format.The criteria provide a unifying framework for evaluating the wide variety of psychological interventions. As we reviewed the literature on couple-and family-based interventions, we became aware that there were a number of decisions that had to be made with regard to the application of these criteria. Given that other reviewers may have interpreted and applied the Chambless and Hollon (1998) guidelines in a different manner, we begin this We thank Emily Sartor for her assistance in the preparation of this article.Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Donald H. Baucom, Davie Hall CB 3270, Psychology Department, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-3270. Electronic mail may be sent via Internet to firstname.lastname@example.org by articulating how we have applied them so that the reader can better understand the bases of our conclusions.One of the major decisions that affects the empirical status of an intervention involves what investigations to include in reviewing the literature. In determining the efficacy status of a treatment, we restricted our consideration to published investigations. Attempts to obtain a comprehensive set of findings from conference presentations, unpublished dissertations, and so forth necessarily result in an incomplete and potentially skewed set of data. At times, unpublished findings are cited if mey help to make a certain point or clarify issues, but they are not considered in dete...
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