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Schizophr Bull. 1992;18(1):43-50.

Cognitive rehabilitation for schizophrenia: is it possible? Is it necessary?

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Medical College of Pennsylvania-EPPI, Philadelphia 19129.


Limitations of available psychosocial interventions combined with the increasing evidence that schizophrenia is characterized by diverse deficits in information processing has stimulated great interest in the possibility of cognitive rehabilitation. However, the current optimism seems unjustified. The precise role of information processing in the behavioral handicaps evidenced by schizophrenic patients is not clear, and the neuropsychologic and experimental psychopathology tasks used to assess information processing generally cannot specify precisely which cognitive functions are deficient. Thus, the choice of cognitive targets for rehabilitation is arbitrary. The strategies currently employed for rehabilitation emphasize an exercise model of treatment and the use of complex mnemonics. Neither approach has been successful in rehabilitating brain-injured patients, and preliminary results with schizophrenic patients are not very promising. It is concluded that the field might be better served by focusing on environmental change and compensatory strategies until we determine how and why schizophrenic patients fail.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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