A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Problem Solving Training and of Cognitive-Emotional Rehabilitation on Neurocognition, Social Cognition and Social Functioning in People with Schizophrenia

Franco Veltro1, Monica Mazza2, *, Nicola Vendittelli1, Mirella Alberti1, Massimo Casacchia2, Rita Roncone2
1 Department of Mental Health of Campobasso, Italy
2 Department of Science of Health, University of L’Aquila, Italy

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© Veltro et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Science of HealthUniversity of L’AquilaVia Vetoio, Località Coppito67100 L’Aquila 0862434923 Italy: Tel: 3391335377; E-mail:



Social cognition and Problem Solving (PS) impairments are common characteristics in patients with schizophrenia. Experimental neuropsychological findings support the hypothesis that schizophrenia is characterized by a broad range of heterogeneous cognitive impairments. Since that time Problem Solving Training has been employed as a core strategy in a wide variety of therapeutic settings. Renewed interest in cognitive functioning, including social Problem Solving skills and social cognition in schizophrenia, has led us to reconsider the potential value of metacognitive strategy as a rehabilitation strategy.


The present study reports the results obtained by 24 persons with schizophrenia who were randomly assigned to one of two training session groups: Cognitive-Emotional Rehabilitation (REC) vs Problem Solving Training (PST). Both treatments were administered to small groups composed of subjects suffering from schizophrenic disorders over a 12 months period: primary measures of clinical, social outcomes and secondary measures of cognitive and Problem Solving functions were conducted at 0, and 12 months.


Results showed that both training methods were found to be effective in psychopathological measures and in social functioning. On cognitive function improvements were specific to the rehabilitative approach. PST are mainly improved capacities for planning and memory, while the REC improved measures such as social cognition Theory of mind and emotion recognition.


The results confirmed that it is no necessary to divide the rehabilitation training in treatments directed to specific domains. The conceptualization and applicability of PST and REC its implications for persons with schizophrenia, and future studies in this research area have also been discussed.

Keywords: Rehabilitation, Schizophrenia, Social Cognition. Problem Solving training, Emotion Recognition.