How Soon? Brenner’s IPT Cognitive Training in Early Psychosis. A Pilot Study

Poster B32, Friday, October 21, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Renato Maria Menichincheri1, Adriana Borriello1, Andrea Balbi1, Fiorino Mirabella2; 1ASL Roma 3, 2Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, Roma

Purpose. This study evaluates the outcome of cognitive training as part of Brenner’s Integrated Psychological Therapy (IPT) in two groups of individuals with a disorder of schizophrenic spectrum. Our experimental group was composed by 13 individuals (46%) with a mean age of 21.2 years and a mean duration of illness (since their first episode of psychosis FEP) of 15.6 months. The control group included 15 individuals (54%) with a mean age of 25.6 years and a mean duration of illness of 74.4 months (beyond the critical period). Materials and Methods. Participants underwent an assessment of cognitive functioning which focused on attention, memory, executive functioning and cognitive flexibility (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test). Each individual was tested pre- and 6-month post-intervention. The original IPT method was altered by reducing the frequency of sessions and by limiting our sessions to 2-3 individuals per group. Results. Cognitive flexibility (p<0.01) and long-term memory (p<0.01) improved only in the experimental group. These former skills worsened in the control group (p<0.01). Selective attention, short-term memory and verbal fluency improved in both of groups (from p<0.05 to p<0.01). Conclusion. IPT cognitive training, when delivered in the early stages of psychosis (within 18 months from FEP), seems to be effective in improving cognitive flexibility and long-term memory. We did not see improvements in those who had a longer duration of illness who also underwent the same treatment. Cognitive flexibility is linked to clinical insight and social cognition. Therefore, improving this function may lead to a better outcome for patients.

Topic Area: Neurocognition

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