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Psychiatry Res. 2019 Sep;279:62-70. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2019.06.041. Epub 2019 Jul 1.

The efficacy of computer-based cognitive training for executive dysfunction in schizophrenia.

Author information

1
Independent Clinical Psychology Unit, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland.
2
Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Szczecin, Krakowska 69 Str., Szczecin 71-017, Poland. Electronic address: ernest.tyburski@gmail.com.
3
Institute of Psychology, University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk, Poland.
4
Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Szczecin, Krakowska 69 Str., Szczecin 71-017, Poland.
5
Department of Psychiatry, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of computer-based cognitive training on executive dysfunction in patients with schizophrenia. Sixty-five patients with schizophrenia were randomly assigned to a training group (n = 33) or a non-training group (n = 32), and compared in terms of executive performance to a healthy control group (n = 33). Executive function was assessed using the Trail Making Test, the Stroop Color and Word Test, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (computer version). Cognitive training was performed using RehaCom software over a course of 16 individual sessions. Primary outcomes were training (performance at three different timepoints) and neuropsychological components (flexibility and cognitive inhibition, high executive processing, and processing speed). In both clinical groups, all aspects of executive function were found to be deficient. In the patient training group, the use of computer-based training alongside pharmacological treatment was more effective in terms of cognitive improvement than pharmacological treatment alone. However, there was no significant effect of cognitive training on processing speed. Cognitive training in schizophrenia patients was effective at improving several aspects of executive function, but did not improve processing speed.

KEYWORDS:

Computer-based cognitive training; Executive function; Schizophrenia

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