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Exploring the role of age as a moderator of cognitive remediation for people with schizophrenia

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Benedetta Seccomandi, Deborah Agbedjro, Morris Bell, Richard S.E. Keefe, Matcheri Keshavan, Silvana Galderisi, Joanna Fiszdon, Armida Mucci, Roberto Cavallaro, Natalia Ojeda, Javier Peña, Daniel Müller, Volker Roder, Til Wykes, Matteo Cella

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Accepted/In press27 Nov 2020
PublishedFeb 2021


King's Authors


Background: While Cognitive Remediation (CR) is effective in reducing cognitive and functioning difficulties in people with schizophrenia, there is variability in treatment response. Previous research suggested that participants' age may be a significant moderator of CR response. Aim: To examine the impact of participants' age on CR outcomes. Method: Individual participant data were accessed from fourteen CR randomised controlled trials. We tested the moderating effect of participants' age on cognitive and functioning outcomes using multivariate linear models. Results: Data from 1084 people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia were considered. Participants had a mean age of 36.6 years (SD 11), with 11.6 years of education (SD 2.8), and an average duration of illness of 13.5 years (SD 10.7). Multivariate models showed that participants' age, when considered as a continuous variable, was not a significant moderator of treatment effect for cognitive and functioning outcomes. However, when participants were split by median age, younger participants showed higher gains in executive functions following CR compared to older participants (p=0.02). Conclusion: These results suggest that participants' age does not moderate most CR outcomes. However, larger age differences may influence the effect of CR on executive function. This may suggest some adaptation of CR practice according to participants' age. These findings inform the CR personalisation agenda.

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