Vol. 1 No. 11 (2021)
Health Technology Reviews

Cognitive Remediation Therapy for People With Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder: A Rapid Qualitative Review

Published November 22, 2021

Key Messages

  • This rapid qualitative review analyzed 8 studies describing the perspectives of people living with schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) who use cognitive remediation therapy (CRT), and their caregivers and clinicians.
  • People living with SSD reported notable improvements in their attention, memory, and problem solving; improvement in their lives when they applied the cognitive strategies acquired from CRT into daily life activities; improvement in communication skills, social engagement, motivation, independence; and a reduction in psychotic symptoms.
  • This review found a common preference among people living with SSD and caregivers to provide personalized delivery and treatment of CRT.
  • People living with SSD cited several ways to introduce personalized CRT: cognitive trainer or clinician’s support and guidance; the content, design, and implementation of CRT; using technology; and group environment and interacting with peers. The constant presence of a polite, friendly, empathetic, and encouraging clinician contributed to beneficial views of CRT.
  • People living with SSD enjoyed the structure of sessions and cognitive tasks, specifically working on tasks at their own pace with gradual increases in difficulty that gave them a sense of accomplishment and mastery. They also enjoyed using technology and playing games to complete tasks; however, some found accessing a computer and a high-quality internet connection difficult.
  • While people living with SSD reported several social benefits to group-based CRT, others found group-based CRT to be unconducive for their learning, especially when the group environment was not supportive or encouraging.
  • Caregivers and clinicians recognized the importance of matching the type of cognitive exercises and structure of sessions to the cognitive needs of people living with SSD.