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Current Research Studies

ORBIT: Outcomes from Cognitive Remediation and Behavioural Intervention Techniques for Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorders

Dominant treatment approaches for schizophrenia-spectrum disorders improve psychiatric symptoms but do little to improve community functioning, leading to persistent disability and substantial economic burden. ORBIT is examining the efficacy of a multi-mechanism approach to combining cognitive behavioural therapy and cognitive remediation. 

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Hanna Hamzai at orbit.utsc@utoronto.ca

E-SMART: Examining Strategy Monitoring and Remediation Techniques in Psychosis

Executive Function Training (ET) is a form of cognitive remediation developed by Dr. Best and his colleagues that is briefer and more efficient than traditional forms of cognitive remediation. ET improves neurocognitive abilities (such as attention, memory, and problem-solving) and community functioning in only 4 weeks. This study attempts to determine the components of ET that are responsible for these improvements in order to make the treatment even more effective.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Saleena Zedan at saleena.zedan@mail.utoronto.ca

iCogCA: Promoting Cognitive Health in Schizophrenia: A National Collaborative Effort to Implement Online Psychological Interventions

Beyond cognitive impairments, psychosis also involves increased cognitive distortions, leading to biases, errors and misinterpretations in information processing. These cognitive impairments and distortions collectively represent a core feature of schizophrenia and adversely impact clinical trajectories and functioning. Hence, there is an important need to ameliorate overall cognitive health in schizophrenia as a means to improve outcome. The current study aims to examine the clinical effectiveness of virtual cognitive health interventions of both cognitive remediation (CR) and meta cognitive training (MCT).

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Saleena Zedan at saleena.zedan@mail.utoronto.ca

Examining the Efficacy of Be Outspoken and Overcome Stigmatizing Thoughts (BOOST) for Early Psychosis

This study is examining the effectiveness of a group treatment developed by Dr. Best and his colleagues. BOOST combines cognitive behavioural therapy with peer support to help people in the early stages of psychosis cope with self-stigma and develop assertive communication skills. This group was effective in a pilot study run by Dr. Best, and we are now examining the treatment in a larger sample.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Allison Dyer at allison.dyer@mail.utoronto.ca

CBT Peer Support

The CBT-Peer Support program is a treatment intervention that combines both the methods of Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and Peer support. This program is facilitated by a trained Peer support worker with lived experience of a psychosis diagnosis and FEP intervention. The objectives of CBT-Informed Peer Support are three-fold. 1. To support FEP patients in their recovery through individualized assessment and treatment 2. Assess and measure outcomes of different types of recovery and their impacts. 3. Create social inclusion and support through discussion.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Allison Dyer at allison.dyer@mail.utoronto.ca

Self-Esteem in Psychosis (SEP)

We are examining factors that contribute to low self-esteem in psychosis and potential treatment targets to improve self-esteem and symptoms among individuals with psychosis. We are recruiting both individuals with a diagnosis of a psychotic disorder as well as individuals with no psychiatric disorders. Participation would involve a 1.5-hour session online and you would receive $30 as compensation. You would need a personal computer to complete computerized tasks and answer questions via questionnaires and clinical interviews.

 

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Talia Leibovitz at t.leibovitz@mail.utoronto.ca or 647-689-6098 Ext. 103.

AVATAR: Virtual Reality Based Psychotherapy for Persistent Auditory Hallucinations 

This study is looking to examine the efficiency of an Audio-Visual Assisted Therapy for Refractory Auditory Hallucinations (AVATAR) based intervention for auditory hallucinations. 3D rendering software is used to create an AVATAR of the dominant voice patients struggle with and is operated throughout therapy by a trained therapist. By interacting with this AVATAR over the course of therapy, participants can change their relationship with the voice and develop an increase in their sense of control and self esteem.

EPIC: Electrophysiological Properties In Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis (CBTp)

In this open-label pilot study, neurocognitive and neurophysiological factors involved in the etiology of psychosis are being examined as mechanisms of improvement from CBTp. The study aims to examine neurophysiological outcomes from CBTp using electroencephalography (EEG) and to examine neurocognitive outcomes from CBTp. 

Motivation and Activity Levels in Daily Life.

This study investigates how motivation fluctuates in daily life and how it is related to different activities (e.g., school, socializing, work, etc.). If you are between the ages of 18-35 and your psychosis started in the past 5 years, you may be eligible to participate. This study involves completing two online meetings and filling out short surveys on your smartphone for one week. We'll ask you questions about your activities and mental health. The total you may earn, depending on your participation, is $160.

Learn More About our Past Research Studies (Coming Soon)
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