A Dismantling Study Of Cognitive Rehabilitation For Supported Employment
This study is aimed at evaluating whether the computer-based cognitive exercises in the Thinking Skills for Work (TSW) program are critical to improving work and cognitive outcomes in consumers with serious mental illness and cognitive impairment enrolled in supported employment (SE), or whether a streamlined version of TSW without this component (the Cognitive Skills for Work (CSW) program) is equally effective for some or all consumers. An RCT will be conducted at two sites (Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester in New Hampshire and Thresholds Inc. in Illinois) with 244 consumers randomly assigned to one of two groups (122 each, with approximately 122 participants having schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 122 of the participants having other diagnoses): 1) TSW, or 2) CSW. The TSW and CSW programs will be delivered by the same Cognitive Specialists, who will work as members of the SE team to integrate cognitive and vocational services. All participants will continue to receive SE services. Participants will be assessed at baseline, post-treatment at 8 months (after completion of the active teaching components of TSW or CSW), and at 16 and 24 months post-baseline to evaluate cognitive functioning, symptoms, and quality of life. All work outcomes will be tracked weekly. In addition, a supplementary study, commencing in September 2015, will assess a promising biomarker for understanding the mechanisms underlying the effects of cognitive remediation, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), in new enrollees in the parent R01 study. This supplement will complement the aims of the parent R01 by shedding light on possible mechanisms related to how TSW works and for whom, thereby informing efforts to refine and improve the program, as well as targeting individuals who fail to benefit. The supplement will take place at the same sites as the parent R01.
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