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STUDY PURPOSE: To study whether patients who have schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and are randomly assigned to switch to aripiprazole prior to participation in a brief vocational skills training (VST) will have improved cognitive functioning and learn more in VST than those randomly assigned to stay on olanzapine. There is evidence that VST is important in improving role functioning for schizophrenia patients, however, cognitive impairments limit the ability of some patients to benefit from skills training approaches. Patients switched from olanzapine to aripiprazole improve in terms of verbal learning and verbal learning has been shown to be a strong predictor of community outcome. It is unclear whether the cognitive benefits of switching to aripiprazole extend to improve learning of vocational skills.
Many schizophrenia outpatients have cognitive deficits and poor vocational functioning. There is evidence from randomized controlled trials that vocational skills training is important in improving vocational role functioning for schizophrenia patients. However, it has become clear that cognitive impairments limit the ability of patients to benefit from skills training approaches. Recent research demonstrates that patients switched from olanzapine to aripiprazole improve in terms of verbal learning. Verbal learning has been found to be a strong predictor of multiple domains of community outcome. It is unclear whether the cognitive benefits of switching to aripiprazole extend to improve learning of vocational skills. This study examines whether aripiprazole can improve the ability to benefit from expensive rehabilitation programs focused on skill-building. Specifically, the study examines whether patients who switch from olanzapine to aripiprazole learn more and benefit more from a brief vocational skills program than patients who remain on olanzapine. Specific aims are as follows: (1) we hypothesize that patients on aripiprazole will demonstrate better scores on tests of cognitive functioning following twelve weeks of medication treatment than patients on olanzapine and (2) we hypothesize that patients on aripiprazole will have significantly higher scores on vocational performance following a brief (2-day) vocational training and assessment session than those on olanzapine. Furthermore, we hypothesize that these gains will be maintained following one week of non-exposure to the trained vocational tasks.
Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Open Label
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Active, not recruiting
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-23T21:47:45-0400
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