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Psychiatry Res. 2003 Jul 15;119(1-2):41-53.

Effects of Attention Process Training on cognitive functioning of schizophrenic patients.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Jaén, Campus Las Lagunillas s/n, 23071, Jaen, Spain.


The goal of this study was to investigate the impact of Attention Process Training (APT) on cognitive functioning in schizophrenia. Twenty-four patients with schizophrenia were randomly assigned to one of the two following conditions: training by means of APT or no training. The dependent variables included measures of attention, memory and executive functions derived from a cancellation task, dichotic listening, dual task, Trail Making Test, Paced Auditory Serial Addition Task, Everyday Attention Questionnaire, Spain-Complutense Verbal Learning Test and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). All participants were also rated on measures of positive and negative symptoms. The tasks were administrated to all participants at baseline. Participants in the training group received individual intensive APT twice a week, whereas the control group did not receive training. All participants were subsequently retested on the same tests. Although, contrary to expectations, neither group improved on clinical and information-processing measures of attention and memory, patients in the trained group had a significantly higher performance on executive function (as measured by the WCST) than did the control group. We conclude that it is feasible to use practice in attention to remediate executive function deficits in schizophrenia.

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