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Encephale. 2011 Sep;37(4):314-21. doi: 10.1016/j.encep.2011.02.002. Epub 2011 Apr 9.

[Cognitive remediation program for individuals living with schizophrenia (Recos): preliminary results].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Département de psychiatrie-CHUV (DP-CHUV), section « E. Minkowski », consultation de Chauderon, 9, avenue d'Echallens, 1004 Lausanne, Suisse.



Nowadays, cognitive remediation is widely accepted as an effective treatment for patients with schizophrenia. In French-speaking countries, techniques used in cognitive remediation for patients with schizophrenia have been applied from those used for patients with cerebral injury. As cognitive impairment is a core feature of schizophrenia, the Département de psychiatrie du CHUV in Lausanne (DP-CHUV) intended to develop a cognitive remediation program for patients with a schizophrenia spectrum disease (Recos-Vianin, 2007). Numerous studies show that the specific cognitive deficits greatly differ from one patient to another. Consequently, Recos aims at providing individualized cognitive remediation therapy. In this feasibility trial, we measured the benefits of this individualized therapy for patients with schizophrenia. Before treatment, the patients were evaluated with a large battery of cognitive tests in order to determine which of the five specific training modules - Verbal memory, visuospatial memory and attention, working memory, selective attention, reasoning - could provide the best benefit depending on their deficit.


The study was designed to evaluate the benefits of the Recos program by comparing cognitive functioning before and after treatment.


Twenty-eight patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (schizophrenia [n=18], schizoaffective disorder [n=5], schizotypal disorder [n=4], schizophreniform disorder [n=1], DSM-IV-TR) participated in between one and three of the cognitive modules. The choice of the training module was based on the results of the cognitive tests obtained during the first evaluation. The patients participated in 20 training sessions per module (one session per week). At the end of the training period, the cognitive functioning of each patient was reevaluated by using the same neuropsychological battery.


The results showed a greater improvement in the cognitive functions, which were specifically trained, compared to the cognitive functions, which were not trained. However, an improvement was also observed in both types of cognitive functions, suggesting an indirect cognitive gain.


In our view, the great heterogeneity of the observed cognitive deficits in schizophrenia necessitates a detailed neuropsychological investigation as well as an individualized cognitive remediation therapy. These preliminary results need to be confirmed with a more extended sample of patients.

Copyright © 2011 L’Encéphale, Paris. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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