Group Cognitive Remediation Therapy for Chronic Schizophrenia: A Randomized Controlled Trial

S. Tan
Y. Zou
T. Wykes
C. Reeder
X. Zhu
F. Yang
Y. Zhao
Y. Tan
F. Fan
D. Zhou

Abstract

Individual-level cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) has been shown to be effective for cognitive improvement and social function amelioration. Here, we aimed to test the efficacy of group-based CRT in Chinese subjects with schizophrenia. One-hundred and four inpatients were randomly assigned to either 40 sessions of small-group CRT therapy or therapeutic contact-matched Musical and Dancing Therapy (MDT). Cognitive and social functioning, as well as clinical symptoms, were evaluated over the course of treatment. Specifically, cognitive function was evaluated using a battery of cognitive measurements, clinical symptoms were evaluated using the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, and social function was evaluated using the Nurse's Observation Scale for Inpatient Evaluation-30. All patients were evaluated pre- and post-treatment. Forty-four individuals in the CRT group and 46 in the MDT group completed all of the planned treatments and analyses. Cognitive functions, especially cognitive flexibility and memory, showed significant improvement in the CRT group over the course of the study. The MDT group also showed improvement in several cognitive flexibility assessments, but the degree of improvement was significantly greater in the CRT group. Several social-function factors exhibited a significant improvement in the CRT group, but not in the MDT group. Cognitive function improvement correlated positively with social function without predicting social function change. We conclude that group-based CRT is an effective and promising therapy.