Psychological Medicine

Preliminary Communication

Specific cognitive flexibility rehabilitation in schizophrenia

Ann Delahuntya1 c1, Rodney Moricea1 and Barry Frosta1

a1 Mental Health Services, South-West Region, Department of Health, Albury; Division of Mental Health Services, Hunter Area Health Service, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Abstract

A Cognitive Shift neurocognitive training module was developed in the attempt to ameliorate cognitive flexibility deficits in chronic schizophrenic patients. A procedural training approach hypothesized the exercise of specific neural network processes, identified from theories of frontal and prefrontal lobe functioning. Three male patients who underwent the intensive program demonstrated significant gains in Wisconsin Card Sorting Test performance, gains that were maintained at a six month reassessment. Expanded Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (a measure of symptomatology) and Life Skills Profile (a measure of daily functioning) measures showed smaller improvements. The ability to improve cognitive flexibility could have important implications for the treatment of schizophrenia.

Correspondence:

c1 Address for correspondence: Dr A. Delahunty. Mental Health Unit, South-West Region, Department of Health, 481 George Street, Albury, NSW 2640, Australia.

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