Thinking about the future cognitive remediation therapy-what works and could we do better?

Til Wykes, Will D. Spaulding

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

162 Scopus citations


This article reviews progress in the development of effective cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) and its translational process. There is now enough evidence that cognitive difficulties experienced by people with schizophrenia can change and that the agenda for the next generation of studies is to increase these effects systematically through cognitive remediation. We examine the necessary steps and challenges of moving CRT to treatment dissemination. Theories which have been designed to explain the effects of cognitive remediation, are important but we conclude that they are not essential for dissemination which could progress in an empirical fashion. One apparent barrier is that cognitive remediation therapies look different on the surface. However, they still tend to use many of the same training procedures. The only important marker for outcome identified in the current studies seems to be the training emphasis. Some therapies concentrate on massed practice of cognitive functions, whereas others also use direct training of strategies. These may produce differing effects as noted in the most recent meta-analyses. We recommend attention to several critical issues in the next generation of empirical studies. These include developing more complex models of the therapy effects that take into account participant characteristics, specific and broad cognitive outcomes, the study design, as well as the specific and nonspecific effects of treatment, which have rarely been investigated in this empirical programme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S80-S90
JournalSchizophrenia bulletin
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • cognitive
  • psychological
  • recovery
  • rehabilitation
  • remediation
  • schizophrenia
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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