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Schizophr Res. 2003 Oct 1;63(3):229-35.

The impact of cognitive remediation on psychiatric symptoms of schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY, USA.



The relationship between psychopathology and cognitive functioning in schizophrenia is of interest, both for an understanding of the nature of the disease, and for comprehensive treatment planning. The aim of this study was to investigate how psychiatric symptoms affect, and are affected by, cognitive remediation.


Fifty-four psychiatric inpatients received either cognitive remediation exercises (remediation group) or no cognitive intervention (control group). The subjects' scores on tests of cognition and on the Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS) were measured before, after the 10 session treatment, and again 4 weeks post treatment.


Only the remediation group showed significant and persistent improvement on all three PANSS Subscales as well as on the Positive Symptoms and Depression Factors. There were no significant between-group differences on any PANSS pre/posttreatment change scores. Baseline measures of psychopathology did not correlate meaningfully with amount of change made on cognitive measures after rehabilitation.


A brief 10-session course of cognitive remediation is sufficient to benefit cognition and has some positive effects on psychopathology as measured by the PANSS, but does not add significantly to the effects of standard psychiatric treatment on psychopathology. Furthermore, psychiatric symptom profile is not predictive of the degree to which cognitive symptoms respond to cognitive remediation. The differential impact of cognitive remediation on cognition and psychopathology may imply that psychopathology and cognitive functioning follow fairly independent treatment courses.

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