Background: There are limited scientific investigations on cognitive remediation in elderly patients with schizophrenia. The present study was aimed to examine the efficacy of cognitive remediation therapy on social skills in institutionalized elderly patients with schizophrenia.
Methods: The study employed a randomized clinical trial. A total of 60 institutionalized elderly patients with schizophrenia from Razi Psychiatric Hospital, Tehran were selected and randomly allocated into two equal groups (control and intervention). The intervention group attended to cognitive remediation therapy for 8 weeks. The Evaluation of Living Skills Scale for psychiatric patients was used for data collection. The Chi Square, independent and paired t-tests using SPSS, version 22, were employed to analyze the data.
Results: The mean age of 60 elderly patients participated in the study was 65.25 ± 4.19 years. No significant differences were found between two groups at baseline. However, independent t-tests showed significant differences between the intervention and the control group in social skills after implementation of intervention. Additionally, the results of paired t-tests revealed significant improvements in intervention group on communication skills (t=5.50, p<0.001), behavioral problems with others (t=5.44, p<0.001), and self-care (t=4.70, p<0.001). No significant differences were observed from pretest to post test in control group.
Conclusion: The results of the present study may support the efficacy of cognitive remediation therapy on social skills of elderly patients with schizophrenia.
Keywords: Aging, cognitive remediation therapy, elderly patients, schizophrenia, social skills, suicide.