Cognitive remediation in schizophrenia

Neuropsychol Rev. 2009 Sep;19(3):353-64. doi: 10.1007/s11065-009-9097-y. Epub 2009 May 15.


Cognitive deficits are routinely evident in schizophrenia, and are of sufficient magnitude to influence functional outcomes in work, social functioning and illness management. Cognitive remediation is an evidenced-based non-pharmacological treatment for the neurocognitive deficits seen in schizophrenia. Narrowly defined, cognitive remediation is a set of cognitive drills or compensatory interventions designed to enhance cognitive functioning, but from the vantage of the psychiatric rehabilitation field, cognitive remediation is a therapy which engages the patient in learning activities that enhance the neurocognitive skills relevant to their chosen recovery goals. Cognitive remediation programs vary in the extent to which they reflect these narrow or broader perspectives but six meta-analytic studies report moderate range effect sizes on cognitive test performance, and daily functioning. Reciprocal interactions between baseline ability level, the type of instructional techniques used, and motivation provide some explanatory power for the heterogeneity in patient response to cognitive remediation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy* / methods
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological
  • Schizophrenia / therapy*
  • Treatment Outcome