3 years ago

The improvement in neurocognitive functioning in anorexia nervosa adolescents throughout the integrative model of psychotherapy including cognitive remediation therapy

K. Kucharska, D. Kulakowska, M. Starzomska, F. Rybakowski, K. Biernacka

Abstract

Background

Patients with anorexia nervosa (AN) experience difficulties in neurocognitive functioning in the acute phase of illness which might be related to clinical presentation, but also in the apparently remitted state after weight recovery. Among the most commonly reported persistent deficits is cognitive inflexibility, which can be interpreted as a vulnerability trait or a “neuropsychological scar” reflecting the detrimental effect of prolonged semi-starvation in patients with a long duration of illness. Studies of adolescent samples with a relatively short clinical course may enable avoiding the effect of prolonged illness and help to determine whether neuropsychological deficits are trait or state dependent.

The aim of this study is to assess cognitive functioning in adolescents with AN before and after the inpatient treatment programme, including cognitive remediation therapy (CRT).

Methods

Forty-seven adolescent female inpatients with AN diagnosed according to DSM-5 and fifty healthy female adolescents matched for the education level and age were recruited. The patients underwent a multimodal treatment including a ten-week CRT. The standardized and cross-validated neuropsychological (Trail Making Test – TMT A and B, Color-Word Stroop Task – CWST, Ruff Figural Fluency Test – RFFT) and clinical measurements (Beck Depression Inventory – BDI, Eating Attitude Test – EAT-26, Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale – Y-BOCS) were used to assess both clinical (in the acute phase and after partial weight recovery) and control subjects.

Results

Initially, AN patients performed significantly worse compared to the controls, but afterwards, inpatient treatment improvement was noted on all examined measures. In a few subtests (TMT, CWST) performance of AN patients after the programme was still significantly poorer than in HC.

Conclusions

Cognitive inflexibility in adolescent AN patients, as measured with TMT, CWST, and RFFT tends to improve after therapy. Nevertheless, a few neuropsychological subtests which did not show complete normalization may warrant attention in subsequent studies. Further research including control intervention is needed to conclude whether CRT intervention affects the outcome.

Open access
You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.