Does Cognitive Remediation Work for Schizophrenia?

Does Cognitive Remediation Work for Schizophrenia?
Woman with blonde hair looks out a window in thought.

Finding effective treatments for schizophrenia has been a major focus for the medical and psychiatric communities for decades. While chemically treating the condition has shown promise, pairing it with psychotherapies and consistent support has shown equal potential for helping patients. However, finding the treatment that puts them in the best position for their ongoing recovery can prove difficult.

As psychiatrists, psychologists, and doctors continue to study the condition, one treatment has shown some potential benefits. However, many people still ask, does cognitive remediation work for schizophrenia?

What Is Cognitive Remediation?

Before examining its potential benefits for schizophrenia patients, one has to define cognitive remediation. This particular therapy consists of a behavioral training intervention that targets a specific cognitive deficit to improve functional outcomes. These treatments target higher-level functions such as attention span, executive functions, and social cognition.

Cognitive remediation aims to address any deficiencies in a patient’s ability to function and interact with the world around them as it is, something that people with schizophrenia have difficulty with. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to cognitive remediation, it has been shown to benefit some patients who have undergone the treatment.

Who Can Benefit From Cognitive Remediation?

Schizophrenia can affect a wide range of people, across age ranges and demographics, seemingly at random. The cause of this thought disorder remains unknown; however, a mixture of genetics, brain chemistry, stress, and psychoactive drug abuse may all contribute to it. While the condition affects the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves, when they develop the condition can play a key role in its overall effectiveness.

While cognitive remediation therapy can benefit patients with schizophrenia, it appears to be more effective in younger patients with higher IQs, symptomatically stable, and intrinsically motivated to improve. Older patients who develop the condition later in life can also benefit from the treatment.

Determining who can benefit the most from this treatment plan requires a comprehensive evaluation of their current cognitive functions. This allows the treatment program to target specific deficits and impairments and set meaningful goals to help improve the chances of success. Some of the categories of patients that can benefit the most include:

At-Risk of Developing Psychosis or Early Psychosis

When someone develops a psychosis-based illness, the cognitive impairments and deficiencies are identified early in the process. Getting the patient into a cognitive remediation program can help target these specific deficiencies and help strengthen these areas and halt their progression.

Long-Term Hospitalization Patients

Patients in long-term care facilities often need further psychiatric stabilization and rehabilitation before being discharged. They may present more severe cognitive deficits, and the more likely they need a dedicated treatment plan to learn coping strategies. The longer the stay in one of these facilities, the higher the likelihood that cognitive remediation can be beneficial.

Patients With Personal Recovery Goals

Cognitive remediation can prove widely beneficial when you’re working with patients with schizophrenia, having a program with wider-reaching goals of improving social skills, employment prospects, and education milestones. Patients who desire to improve and achieve specific goals have distinct benchmarks they can strive for in their therapies.

Discussions involving everyday difficulties help inform the cognitive deficiencies and how they can be improved, including specific strategies focusing on their strengths and how they can help improve other areas.

How Cognitive Remediation From Lifeskills South Florida Can Help

Finding the right cognitive remediation treatment in Fort Lauderdale, FL, can help you or someone you love receives the proper support for their ongoing schizophrenia recovery. While there is no cure for this thought disorder, using this technique can benefit patients in the long run. Our personalized programs help each patient identify the areas where they need the most help and give them the support they need.

If you or someone you love has schizophrenia and are looking for a treatment center that cares, Lifeskills South Florida is here to help. Discover more about our residential treatment programs and admissions process by calling us at 754-225-9765 today.

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