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Attention training in schizophrenia: differing responses to similar tasks

, : Attention training in schizophrenia: differing responses to similar tasks. Journal of Psychiatric Research 43(4): 490-496

Cognitive retraining is a promising non-pharmacological approach to the treatment of neurocognitive deficits in schizophrenia. The current study aimed to learn whether people with schizophrenia improve on attention tasks, whether individual performance varies by task, and what task improvement measures relate to pre-post-change in neuropsychological tests of attention. Thirty-two outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder completed at least 40 cognitive training hours on two computerized visual attention training tasks (VT1 and VT2) and pre-post-testing with Digit Span, Digit Symbol Substitution Task, and Continuous Performance Task. Performance slopes indicated significant improvement on both training exercises. Despite apparent similarities between the two training tasks, there were no significant correlations between performance measures on VT1 and VT2. Significant relationships were found between performance improvement variables and change scores on neuropsychological measures, but these relationships varied by training task. Results indicate that cognitive training was effective in improving task performance but that similar tasks can be different in who performs well and what components of attention may be affected. Findings suggest that training should involve multiple exercises within the same domain and that multiple measures may be important in making links between the training process and functional outcomes.


PMID: 18555485

DOI: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2008.04.011

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