Objective: Cognitive remediation (CR) is considered a potentially effective method of improving cognitive function in people with schizophrenia. Few studies, however, have explored the role of intrinsic motivation on treatment utilization or training outcomes in CR in this population. This study explored the impact of task-specific intrinsic motivation on attendance and reliable cognitive improvement in a controlled trial comparing CR with a computer game (CG) playing control. Methods: Forty-nine participants with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, allocated to 10 weeks of group-based CR (n = 25) or CG control (n = 24), provided complete outcome data at baseline. Forty-three participants completed their assigned intervention. Cognition, psychopathology and intrinsic motivation were measured at baseline and end-treatment. Regression analyses explored the relative contribution of baseline motivation and other clinical factors to session attendance as well as the association of baseline and change in intrinsic motivation with the odds of reliable cognitive improvement (calculated using reliable change indices). Results: Baseline reports of perceived program value were the only significant multivariable predictor of session attendance when including global cognition and psychiatric symptomatology. The odds of reliable cognitive improvement significantly increased with greater improvements in program interest and value from baseline to end-treatment. Motivational changes over time were highly variable between participants. Conclusion: Task-specific intrinsic motivation in schizophrenia may represent an important patient-related factor that contributes to session attendance and cognitive improvements in CR. Regular evaluation and enhancement of intrinsic motivation in cognitively enhancing interventions may optimize treatment engagement and the likelihood of meaningful training outcomes.
- Cognitive remediation
- Intrinsic Motivation Inventory for Schizophrenia Research (IMI-SR)