Cognitive remediation combined with an early intervention service in first episode psychosis

Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, Wiley, ISSN 0001-690X

Volume 130, 4, 2014

DOI:10.1111/acps.12287, Dimensions: pub.1006513932, PMID: 24833315,



  1. (1) Aarhus University Hospital, grid.154185.c, Central Denmark Region
  2. (2) Mental Health Services, grid.466916.a, Central Denmark Region
  3. (3) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
  4. (4) Copenhagen University Hospital Copenhagen Trial Unit Centre for Clinical Intervention Research Rigshospitalet Copenhagen Denmark






OBJECTIVE: This randomised clinical trial assessed the effects of a 16-week cognitive remediation programme (NEUROCOM) combined with an early intervention service (EIS) vs. EIS alone. METHOD: One hundred and seventeen patients with first episode psychosis were randomly assigned to 4 months cognitive remediation combined with EIS vs. EIS alone. Statistical analysis of effect was based on intention to treat. RESULTS: A total of 98 patients (83.8%) participated in post-training assessments at 4 months and 92 (78.6%) in 12-month follow-up assessments. No effects were found on the primary outcome measure functional capacity. At the post-training assessment, the intervention group had improved significantly on Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (Cohen's d=0.54, P=0.01), Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale (PANSS), General Psychopathology Scale (Cohen's d=0.51, P=0.05) and the verbal learning domain (Cohen's d=0.46, P=0.02). At follow-up assessment, the intervention group retained the significant improvements on the verbal learning domain (Cohen's d=0.58, P<0.05). Furthermore, significant improvements were observed on the working memory domain (Cohen's d=0.56, P=0.01) and PANSS positive symptoms (Cohen's d=0.44, P=0.04), while improvement on the composite score was marginally significant (Cohen's d=0.34, P=0.05). CONCLUSION: In accordance with other cognitive remediation programmes, this programme demonstrates some immediate and long-term effect on cognitive functioning, symptoms and self-esteem.


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