Effects of cognitive treatment in psychiatric rehabilitation

William D. Spaulding, Dorie Reed, Mary Sullivan, Charles Richardson, Martin Weiler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Ninety subjects with severe and disabling psychiatric conditions, predominantly schizophrenia, participated in a controlled-outcome trial of the cognitive component of Integrated Psychological Therapy (IPT), a group- therapy modality intended to reestablish basic neurocognitive functions. The cognitive therapy was delivered to subjects in the experimental condition during intensive 6-month treatment periods. Control subjects received supportive group therapy. Before, during, and after the intensive treatment period, all subjects received an enriched regimen of comprehensive psychiatric rehabilitation, including social and living skills training, optimal pharmacotherapy, occupational therapy, and milieu-based behavioral treatment. IPT subjects showed incrementally greater gains compared with controls on the primary outcome measure, the Assessment of Interpersonal Problem-Solving Skills, suggesting that procedures that target cognitive impairments of schizophrenia spectrum disorders can enhance patients' response to standard psychiatric rehabilitation, at least in the short term, in the domain of social competence. There was equivocal evidence for greater improvement in the experimental condition on the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale disorganization factor and strong evidence for greater improvement on a laboratory measure of attentional processing. There was significant improvement in both conditions on measures of attention, memory, and executive functioning, providing support for the hypothesis that therapeutic procedures that target impaired cognition enhance response to conventional psychiatric rehabilitation modalities over a 6-month timeframe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-676
Number of pages20
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Cognitive remediation
  • Neurocognition
  • Neuropsychology
  • Psychiatric rehabilitation
  • Schizophrenia
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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