Cognitive Enhancement Therapy

Cognitive Enhancement Therapy

Cognitive enhancement therapy (CET) is a psychosocial intervention designed to improve social functioning and decrease disability in those suffering from schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. The treatment consists of both neurocognitive and social-cognitive components.

The neurocognitive component involves taking online tests administered by a trained neuropsychologist. These measures may include attention/vigilance, working memory, visual episodic memory, verbal memory, executive function and motor skills.

This comprehensive, performance-based developmental program is tailored to each patient’s individual needs and can be completed anytime. With such a powerful formula, results can be seen within as little as 6 weeks!

CET (Combinatory Emotivive Therapy) utilizes social and neurocognitive approaches to address cognitive deficits in adults with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder while simultaneously improving their social and vocational capabilities. Studies have demonstrated that these techniques have proven highly successful at improving quality of life and decreasing disability rates for those living with these conditions.

CET is a cost-effective solution for rehabilitating neurocognitive and social-cognitive deficits in individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disease. The program consists of neurocognitive training, social-cognitive group therapy, and coping skill instruction.

Researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial on 31 early course outpatients with schizophrenia or schizoaffective illness to assess its effectiveness. Comparing those assigned to CET to those receiving enriched supportive therapy (EST), an illness management intervention that emphasizes psychoeducation and coping strategies, researchers found that those in the CET group showed significantly greater improvements on cognitive and functional outcomes as well as fewer negative symptoms compared to their EST counterparts.

Participants in the CET group completed annual assessments of their mental state and various clinical and social-cognitive assessments. They took the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery, Managing Emotions subscale of Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test, Hinting Task, and Awareness of Social Inferences Test; all assessments were computer-based with raters not blind to treatment assignment.

After one year of treatment with CET, researchers observed significant but modest effects in favor of neurocognitive function. These included improvements to verbal memory, executive function, planning and problem-solving as well as decreasing neurological soft signs like low motivation or disorganization.

Researchers discovered that participants in the CET group experienced positive changes on several social-cognitive assessments, such as improved social information processing and interpersonal effectiveness, along with reduced avoidance of situations involving social interactions. These improvements were accompanied by decreases in anxiety, depression, social avoidance behaviors and activity level.

After two years of treatment with CET, the effects were evident across all multivariate composite indexes. However, these effects shifted significantly towards improving social cognition and were not as strong in symptomatology domains.

This study emphasizes the need for further research to identify long-term cognitive rehabilitation approaches that are successful in patients with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders, a group known for substantial cognitive deficits and low recovery rates. Unfortunately, few long-term trials of cognitive rehabilitation have been conducted in this population; most were conducted among early or childhood onset patients and utilized relatively short-term interventions aimed at remediating neurocognitive deficits related to attention, memory, and executive function.

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