Neuropsychological and clinical findings of Cognitive Remediation Therapy feasibility randomised controlled trial in young people with anorexia nervosa

Lucia Giombini, Sophie Nesbitt, Rutendo Kusosa, Cleo Fabian, Teo Sharia, Abigail Easter, Kate Tchanturia

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Objective: Randomised controlled trial (RCT) in adults with anorexia nervosa (AN) showed that Cognitive Remediation Therapy (CRT) enhances cognitive flexibility, abstract thinking and quality‐of‐life. Despite inconsistent findings, CRT has the potential as an adjunct treatment for young people (YP) with AN. A feasibility RCT was conducted in an inpatient setting. The study will also consider the effect of CRT in YP with AN and autistic symptoms.
Methods: Participants were randomly allocated to the Immediate or Delayed condition to receive individual CRT sessions, in addition to standard treat- ment. A repeated measures design was conducted.
Results: Eighty participants were recruited. The neuropsychological measures were feasible for evaluating individual CRT in YP. Significant improvements in set‐shifting and central coherence were found, with no main effect between immediate and delayed condition. Significant interactions were found be- tween the condition, and autism spectrum condition (ASC) and No‐ASC subgroup, with significant positive impact of CRT on set‐shifting in the No‐ ASC subgroup. There was some evidence that for the No‐ASC subgroup, CRT was more effective if delivered at the start of the treatment; and for the ASC subgroup, that CRT was more effective if delivered at the later stage of treatment.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that the overall positive effect of CRT in set‐shifting and central coherence alongside standard treatment. They also indicate the importance of screening for the presence of ASC which could require tailored CRT.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review
Issue number1
Early online date24 Nov 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Nov 2021

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