Cognitive rehabilitation for individuals with opioid use disorder: A randomized controlled trial

Neuropsychol Rehabil. 2019 Sep;29(8):1273-1289. doi: 10.1080/09602011.2017.1391103. Epub 2017 Nov 21.


Aim: To examine the efficacy of cognitive rehabilitation treatment (CRT) for people with opioid use disorder who were recruited into a methadone maintenance treatment (MMT) programme. Method: 120 male subjects were randomly assigned to (1) MMT plus CRT in two months or (2) MMT plus a control intervention. Subjects were assessed at the beginning, mid-point and post-intervention as well as at 1-, 3- and 6-month follow-up time points. Results: Analysis with repeated measure ANOVA showed that the CRT group performed significantly better in tests of learning, switching, processing speed, working memory and memory span. Moreover, the CRT group had significantly lower opiate use over the control group during 3-months follow-up. Analysis including only those with a history of methamphetamine use showed that the CRT group had significantly lower amphetamine use. No group differences were observed for treatment retention. Conclusions: Our findings provide evidence that adding CRT as an adjunct intervention to MMT can improve cognitive performance as well as abstinence from both opiates and stimulants.

Keywords: Abstinence; Cognitive rehabilitation; Methadone maintenance treatment; Opioid; Retention.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cognition
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methadone / therapeutic use
  • Narcotics / therapeutic use
  • Opiate Substitution Treatment
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Opioid-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Narcotics
  • Methadone