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Cognitive remediation therapy for forensic inpatients: a preliminary evaluation

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Whilst there is an evidence base for cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) in severe mental illness, there is a paucity of research involving CRT for forensic inpatients. This study investigated the effectiveness of CRT in improving cognitive functioning in 13 patients in a low secure unit, including those with a history of substance misuse and/or head injury, a population which has typically been excluded from previous research. Outcome measures included the Hayling and Brixton tests, Digit Span (subtest of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) and the Zoo Map (subtest of the Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexecutive Syndrome). Improvements were demonstrated across the measures, with significant findings identified in six out of the eight measures. Reliable and clinically significant change analyses were conducted and indicated that CRT can provide both reliable and clinically significant change for forensic inpatients. Those with a history of head injury/ substance misuse demonstrated equal improvements. The findings indicate that CRT is an effective intervention for forensic inpatients, including those with co-morbid diagnoses of substance misuse/brain injury. Further research, including long term follow up is recommended.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2016

This article was made available online on February 13, 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "Cognitive remediation therapy for forensic inpatients: a preliminary evaluation".

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  • Published twice a year, the Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care is devoted to issues affecting the care and treatment of people with mental disorders who manifest severely disturbed functioning. The journal is international and multidisciplinary. It provides stimulating papers and articles of interest to those who work in or study psychiatric intensive care, low secure services, acute inpatient wards, challenging behaviour environments, emergency psychiatry, or intensive treatments settings in other parts of the wider mental health system. The Journal of Psychiatric Intensive Care encourages informed debate and exchange of opinion. Its content includes editorials, original research, brief reports, reviews, conference reports, news and notices, but preference is given to original research of a high scientific quality.
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