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The empirical basis for the practice of cognitive remediation for schizophrenia

Author(s): Alice M Saperstein & Alice Medalia

Cognitive remediation is a behaviorally based training intervention that aims to improve cognitive deficits that impose a significant barrier to everyday functioning. Cognitive remediation for schizophrenia is based on principles of neuroplasticity, and methods of treatment are informed by rehabilitation psychology, neuropsychology and increasingly by theories of motivation. On the whole, cognitive remediation for schizophrenia is shown to improve neurocognition and psychosocial outcomes with effect sizes in the moderate range. Accumulating data indicate that treatment intensity and treatment setting moderate outcomes, and instructional techniques that enhance intrinsic motivation for learning promote engagement, facilitate learning and augment sustained learning outcomes. This article reviews these techniques, drawing from empirical data, and proposes future directions for research in order to further augment treatment outcomes and help people with schizophrenia better achieve their personal goals for recovery.


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