- (1) Aarhus University Hospital, grid.154185.c, Central Denmark Region
- (2) Mental Health Services, grid.466916.a, Central Denmark Region
- (3) University of Copenhagen, grid.5254.6, KU
- (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.