Skilled Thinking Group - A Computerized Cognitive Remediation Therapy Model for First Episode Psychosis Patients

Poster A105, Thursday, October 20, 11:30 am - 1:00 pm, Le Baron

Laura Salmijärvi1, Hanna Nokio1, Niklas Granö1; 1Helsinki University Hospital Department of Psychiatry

Background: Cognitive Remediation, which is targeted to first episode psychosis patients (FEP), has got a growing interest in the field of neuropsychological rehabilitation. Early Psychosis Clinic at Helsinki University Hospital (HUH), Finland, has developed a group based, computerized Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) –model, “Skilled Thinking Group”. The model was developed from NEAR (Neuropsychological Educational Approach to Cognitive Remediation) -model. Aim: The aim was to develop and implement a therapy model that could be offered to large volume of FEP patients with neurocognitive deficits. Methods: A pilot was conducted with a group of 6 FEP patients. Neurocognitive assessment was conducted with CNS-Vital Signs- test. Cogmed and RehaCom computer programs were used for CRT. Group meetings were held twice a week, in total 20 times (1.5 hours per session). Each session begun with an independent computerized rehearsal and was followed by a group discussion where e.g. cognitive skills and learning styles were discussed, practiced and linked to daily life situations. After the group was finished, a follow-up assessment was conducted to assess change in neurocognitive performance of the patients. Results: The group members were committed to CRT and provided positive feedback based on the pilot. Sharing experiences in a group was considered positive and safe. The patients also reported improvement in their social and cognitive skills in daily life situations. Conclusions: Based on the experiences from the pilot, the Skilled Thinking Group - model will be implemented to wider use in HUH.

Topic Area: First Episode Psychosis

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