Assessment of a six-week computer-based remediation program for social cognition in chronic schizophrenia

Byrne, Linda K., Pan, Lingyi, McCabe, Marita, Mellor, David and Xu, Yifeng 2015, Assessment of a six-week computer-based remediation program for social cognition in chronic schizophrenia, Shanghai archives of psychiatry, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 296-306, doi: 10.11919/j.issn.1002-0829.215095.

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Title Assessment of a six-week computer-based remediation program for social cognition in chronic schizophrenia
Author(s) Byrne, Linda K.ORCID iD for Byrne, Linda K.
Pan, Lingyi
McCabe, Marita
Mellor, DavidORCID iD for Mellor, David
Xu, Yifeng
Journal name Shanghai archives of psychiatry
Volume number 27
Issue number 5
Start page 296
End page 306
Total pages 11
Publisher Editorial Office of Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry
Place of publication Shanghai, China
Publication date 2015-10
ISSN 1002-0829
Keyword(s) schizophrenia
cognitive rehabilitation
working memory
social cognition
facial affect recognition
controlled trial
Summary Background: Programs to remediate cognitive deficits have shown promising results in schizophrenia, but remediation of social cognition deficits is less well understood. Social cognitive deficits may cause more disability than the widely recognized neurocognitive deficits, suggesting that this is an area worthy of further investigation. Aim: Implement and evaluate a brief computerized cognitive remediation program designed to improve memory, attention, and facial affect recognition (FAR) in outpatients with chronic schizophrenia.

Methods: Baseline assessments of FAR and of clinical, cognitive, and psychosocial functioning were completed on 20 males with schizophrenia enrolled in an outpatient rehabilitation program at the Shanghai Mental Health Center (the intervention group) and on 20 males with schizophrenia recruited from among regular outpatients at the Center (the control group). Both groups received treatment as usual, but the intervention group also completed an average of 12.7 sessions of a computer-based remediation program for neurocognitive, social, and FAR functioning over a 6-week period. The baseline measures were repeated in both groups at the end of the 6-week trial.

Results: There were no statistically significant differences in the changes in clinical symptoms (assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, PANSS) or cognitive measures (assessed using the Hong Kong List Learning Test and the Letter-Number Sequencing Task) between the intervention and control groups over the 6-week trial, but there were modest improvements on the PANSS for the intervention group between baseline and after the intervention. There was a significantly greater improvement in the social functioning measure (the Personal and Social Performance scale, PSP) in the intervention group than in the control group. The pre-post change in the total facial recognition score in the intervention group was statistically significant (paired t-test=-2.60, p=0.018), and there was a statistical trend of a greater improvement in facial recognition in the intervention group than in the control group (F(1,37)=2.93; p=0.092).

Conclusions: Integration of FAR training with a short, computer-administrated cognitive remediation program may improve recognition of facial emotions by individuals with schizophrenia, and, thus, improve their social functioning. But more work on developing the FAR training modules and on testing them in larger, more diverse samples will be needed before this can be recommended as a standard part of cognitive remediation programs.
Language eng
DOI 10.11919/j.issn.1002-0829.215095
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Editorial Office of Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry
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School of Psychology
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