Neuropsychiatric rehabilitation for persistent mental illness
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The benefits of new knowledge on the psychobiology and neuropsychology of serious mental illnesses have been slow to impact on psychiatric rehabilitation technology. A literature review reveals that, at least in the case of schizophrenia, enough is known about neurobiological deficits and their impact on neurocognitive functioning to justify a more informed approach to psychiatric rehabilitation. Essential elements for a program of research are presented and preliminary data are reported examining the prevalence of executive deficits, correlations between neuropsychological deficits and social adjustment, and the nature of socially stigmatizing neuromotor deficits and their reliable assessment. In addition, early experience with the remediation of executive deficits is described and suggestions are made for future developments in this area. The authors conclude that barriers to the integration of knowledge from biological psychiatry and psychiatric rehabilitation have been largely related to academic “cultural” isolation, and that active cross fertilization of ideas is clearly justified by the present state of knowledge.
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