Cognitive Technology in Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Cognitive Technology in Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Cognitive Technology in Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Cognitive Technology in Psychiatric Rehabilitation

Synopsis

Remarkable advances in the past two decades in the molecular biological sciences and in the behavioral and social sciences have deepened our understanding of schizophrenia, one of the most disabling of psychiatric conditions. Most recently research has begun to converge on the cognitive characteristics of schizophrenia, as understood in the modern context of the cognitive sciences. The cognitive processes of perception, language, logical thought, problem solving, and emotional regulation have long been known to be seriously impaired in schizophrenia, and it is clear that cognitive impairments contribute heavily to the disabilities suffered by schizophrenic patients. However, it is not clear that technologies for dealing with such impairments will be forthcoming.

Contributing to this collection of essays are clinicians, cognitive scientists, and policy makers who address the spectrum of questions which must be answered if the potential of cognitive science and technology is to be realized in psychiatric rehabilitation: How are we to understand cognitive impairments in terms of the etiology of schizophrenia? How should we measure and assess cognition in disabled individuals? How can we use information about a patient's cognitive functioning in treatment planning and rehabilitation? Can we directly remediate cognitive impairments with pharmacological or psychological treatment? Even if cognitive technologies prove useful, how can we get the mental health system to adopt them? If they are adopted, how might this in turn affect the mental health system and health care policy in general?

The views of the contributors give cause for some optimism about the potential usefulness of cognitive technology and its future availability in the mental health system. This work defines the issues and establishes an agenda for continued research and policy development.

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