BACKGROUND: Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) is an adjunct treatment targeting set-shifting (SS) and weak central coherence (CC) thought to play a role in maintaining anorexia nervosa (AN). This study aimed to test the feasibility of brief group CRT for young people with AN in a day-patient setting using neuropsychological assessment of SS and CC. It also explored the benefit for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) features.

METHODS: Twenty female day-patients (12-18 years) with AN or Atypical AN completed neuropsychological assessment of SS (using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task and the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test) and of CC (using the Rey Osterrieth Complex Figures Task) pre and post 4 sessions of group CRT. Baseline ASD features and weight change pre and post were measured. Feasibility was assessed regarding the recruitment process, intervention feedback, suitability of neuropsychological assessment measures, and effect sizes.

RESULTS: Study uptake was 95%, intervention retention was 91%, and group CRT was rated as acceptable. Medium to large effect size improvements were found across measures of SS (dz = 0.44 to dz = 0.90) and medium size improvements found in CC (dz = 0.59). Young people with ASD features showed smaller to similar size improvements in SS and larger improvements in CC. There was a moderate (not significant) correlation with level of weight restoration.

CONCLUSIONS: Important study parameters have been estimated in order to plan a future definitive trial of brief group CRT in a day-patient setting using neuropsychological assessment. These findings also have implications for the use of brief group CRT in young people with ASD features.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


Dive into the research topics of 'Group cognitive remediation therapy for children and adolescents in intensive day-patient treatment for anorexia nervosa: a feasibility study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this