Project Details


[unreadable] DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Despite pharmacologic treatment advances, there are many treatment-refractory schizophrenia patients remaining in state hospitals. Many of these patients are sufficiently cognitively impaired that they benefit little from psychosocial interventions and have little chance of returning to the community without the introduction of novel cognition-enhancing interventions. Moreover, many patients who have been discharged from state hospitals in the wake of recent census reductions also have attentional problems that preclude their ability to fully engage in, and benefit from, psychosocial interventions. Such patients can be considered at heightened risk for relapse and rehospitalization as long as their limited ability to benefit from treatment remains undressed. Compounding this problem is the inability of current cognitive rehabilitation interventions to improve attentional functioning in schizophrenia patients with the most severe attentional problems. For such patients, behaviorally oriented attention shaping procedures have demonstrated effectiveness in several small-scale studies. However, the lack of a user-friendly, standardized format for the delivery of this intervention has led to its almost complete nonuse outside of academic research centers. Therefore, the proposed study seeks to draw on the expertise of those investigators who have pioneered the use of shaping techniques to improve attention in treatment-refractory schizophrenia patients, in order to integrate these techniques into a standardized, manualized treatment intervention, along with an accompanying training videotape and therapist fidelity evaluation measure. The proposed project would develop this standardized treatment delivery format, and then refine it through a series of pilot treatment groups at three sites: Weill Medical College of Cornell University, Lincoln Regional Center, and Hawaii State Hospital. In addition, data would be collected and pooled regarding treatment-related changes in attentional functioning, skill acquisition in groups, and symptomatology. The expected results of this project include: 1) the development of a user-friendly set of materials to facilitate dissemination of the attention shaping intervention to real-world settings; 2) the collection of preliminary data on its effectiveness; and 3) the generation of estimates of power and subject variability which can serve as the foundation from which to design a large-scale controlled treatment study.
Effective start/end date2/14/031/31/07


  • National Institute of Mental Health: $65,651.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $80,720.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $211,187.00
  • National Institute of Mental Health: $172,878.00


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