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Current Research Studies

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

Cognitive remediation is a psychological intervention to improve neurocognition in schizophrenia with the ultimate goal of improving community functioning. Executive function training is a form of cognitive remediation that we previously developed to improve cognitive functioning in schizophrenia. 

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Hanna Hamzai at e-smartstudy.utsc@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 Hanna Hamzai at hanna.hamzai@mail.utoronto.ca

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 Felicia Martins at felicia.martins@mail.utoronto.ca

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. 

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact Christine Sexton at bestlabadmin.utsc@utoronto.ca

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.

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 us at bestlab.utsc@utoronto.ca

Neurocognitive and Neurophysiological Effects of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Psychosis

In this pilot study we are examining the effects of 6 months of cognitive behavioural therapy for psychosis (CBT-p) on neurocognitive abilities (such as attention, memory, and problem-solving) and neurophysiology (measured through electroencephalography; EEG). The results of this study will inform the mechanisms by which CBT-p produces effective treatment results so that we can improve the delivery of CBT-p.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact us at bestlab.utsc@utoronto.ca

Mechanisms of Executive Function Training for Schizophrenia-Spectrum Disorders

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 us at bestlab.utsc@utoronto.ca

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