Schizophrenia

What Is It?

 

Schizophrenia affects 2.4 million Americans. Adults, often young adults are affected during their high school and college years. In early stages, people may experience hallucinations, delusions, flat affect, depression, disorganized thinking, and cognitive problems. Interventions for schizophrenia include medication, psychotherapy, and self-management strategies and education.

 

Schizophrenia can impact cognitive functioning. Complications may include difficulty taking in and processing information, decision making, maintaining focus, and disruptions in working memory. Cognitive remediation therapy provided by a licensed clinical provider can help patients with schizophrenia learn strategies and practice these cognitive skills so that they can live more independently.

What Can Be Done for Schizophrenia?

 

People with schizophrenia work with a team of care providers. Oftentimes, a psychiatrist will diagnose psychiatric conditions and provide medication, a neuropsychologist will conduct a cognitive assessment, a psychologist can provide emotional support, and speech therapists, occupational therapists and/or social workers may be involved if a person is experiencing further complications in their life.

 

Cognitive remediation therapy has shown to be effective in assisting people with schizophrenia live more independent lives. This form of therapy includes practice of cognitive skills using printed and digital materials in conjunction with real-world situation simulation. A therapist will also provide discussion to help clients reflect on strategy implementation, strengths, and weaknesses. Therapists may work one-on-one with clients or in a group setting during therapy sessions.

How Can HappyNeuron Pro Be Used in Your Care Plan for Your Client with Schizophrenia?

 

HappyNeuron Pro is designed to be used as a tool for clinical providers working with patients that have cognitive dysfunction. During therapy sessions, clinical providers can select exercises based on the area of cognition their client with schizophrenia is having difficulty with. In addition, strengths can be practiced to ensure maintenance. Clinical providers may use HappyNeuron Pro one-on-one or in a group setting. Depending on a client’s therapeutic goals, clinicians can design an exercise plan using HappyNeuron Pro’s digital content for their client to use alongside their therapist, at home and in a group setting.

 

Some exercises we suggest for clients with schizophrenia:

Two Timing

 

Paying attention to two kinds of stimuli can be very difficult for clients with schizophrenia. Participants will have to engage with visual and auditory stimulation at the same time in this task.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Two Timing
Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Entangled Figures

Entangled Figures

 

Trains visuo-spatial skills and working memory by requiring patients to disentangle a complex figure into its key parts.

Under Pressure

 

In this exercise, three types of stimuli (a red circle, a black cross, and a letter) will appear one after the other at different spots, anywhere on the screen. The aim is to determine quickly whether the red circle appears above or below the black cross.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Under Pressure
Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Displaced Characters

Displaced Characters

 

Strengthens visual and spatial skills in addition to memory by requiring the patient to distinguish differences and similarities among characters.

Restaurant

 

In this exercise, participants will have to remember the orders of people seated at a table. This exercise can be made more complex by adding more guests, more orders, moving around guest position, including distraction orders, restrict time for memorization and have the option of a distraction task in between orders.

Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Restaurant
Screenshot of HappyNeuron Pro exercise Basketball in NY

Basketball in New York

 

Requires participants to be strategic and problem solve to plan actions that lead to successful completion.

In addition to these exercises, we provide content that focuses on other domains of cognition such as Memory, Executive Function, Visual Memory, Processing Speed, Auditory Skills, and Verbal Memory.

 

As you work with your client, you can identify overlapping cognitive issues that may be impacting their ability to function in daily life. Practicing these cognitive skills can assist with rehabilitation for your patient experiencing cognitive deficits related to psychosis. HappyNeuron Pro has been well received by patients suffering from psychiatric disorders. Programs featuring a NEAR model have used us as one of their digital tools to assist patients with their care.

How Do We Fit Into Your Care Plan for Your Patients With Schizophrenia?

 

Schizophrenia can impact a person’s ability to live independently, but most people with schizophrenia can live on their own. More severe cases can cause patients to stay short or long-term within a psychiatric care facility until they are stable.

 

Depending on where your client may be, you can provide therapy for your patient in their home, in your clinic, or in a group setting. We can be adapted for group therapy by connecting an HDMI cord from a computer to a television screen. If you would like your patient to continue practicing skills outside of clinic hours,  you can assign them exercises to complete at home. All your patient needs to access HappyNeuron Pro is an internet connection and a device such as a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

 

To see how we can be integrated into your setting and assist your clinicians providing care to clients with psychiatric conditions, take time to complete our 15 Day Free Trial. You are able to access all of our digital content, as well as our free resources for additional material to use during your therapy sessions with your clients. If you are a researcher, please contact us about using our software for your research study.

Page last updated on Jan 10,2020

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