Objectives: The present study aims to investigate the synergistic effects of cognitive remediation training (CRT) on Integrated Supported Employment (ISE). ISE blends individual placement support service with work-related social skills training for Chinese people suffering from schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder.
Method: Ninety participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorders were recruited from two psychiatric outpatient services in Hong Kong. They were randomly assigned into the ISE+CRT (n=45) and ISE (n=45) conditions. Blinded assessments on vocational, clinical, psychological, and neurocognitive outcomes were conducted by independent assessors. The two groups were followed up at 7 and 11months.
Results: Both groups yielded similar improvements across several outcome domains assessed immediately after the interventions and at 7 and 11month follow-ups, but no significant group differences were found. Significant positive trends over time in vocational, clinical and cognitive outcomes consistently favored the ISE+CRT condition.
Conclusion: While both the ISE+CRT and ISE groups demonstrated improvement in vocational, clinical, psychological, and neurocognitive outcomes, there was no evidence to show that cognitive remediation facilitated further improvement in these domains beyond gains associated with ISE alone. Further investigation is needed to fully exploit the synergistic potential of ISE combined with CRT, and to better understand which individuals experience a maximal benefit from the specific rehabilitation program components.
Keywords: Cognitive remediation training; Integrated supported employment; Schizophrenia; Vocational rehabilitation; Work-related social skills training.
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