Rehabilitation in Persons with Schizophrenic Spectrum Disorders: The Impact of Cognition and Cognitive Remediation Therapy
Schizophrenia is a chronic disorder, which severely limits the social and occupational functioning. Employment, education, relationships, housing and health are among the most frequently stated life and treatment goals among persons suffering from schizophrenia. Rehabilitation for persons with schizophrenia aims at preservation and improvement of psychosocial functions in areas such as work, social relationship and independent living skills, promotes recovery-oriented interventions and, therefore, serves the central goals of affected persons. Cognitive functioning, education, negative symptoms, social support and skills, age, work history, and rehabilitation service to restore community functioning have proven to be strong predictors for successful psychiatric rehabilitation. It makes sense to concentrate on these predictors when improvement of psychiatric rehabilitation is targeted. Cognitive remediation produces moderate improvements in cognitive performance and, when combined with functional training and embedded in comprehensive psychiatric rehabilitation, also enhances functional outcome. Germany provides a highly differentiated system of psychosocial support for schizophrenic patients. However, the "German disease" with different care providers being in charge in subsequent stages of recovery hampers efficient organisation of psychiatric rehabilitation. Improvement of overall organisation, i. e., configuration of interfaces, understanding of the complex interactions of measures, design of disease specific programmes, research and economic evaluation constitute major challenges in the field of psychiatric rehabilitation.
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