Feasibility and acceptability of cognitive adaptation training for first-episode psychosis

Kelly A. Allott, Eoin Killackey, Pamela Sun, Warrick J. Brewer, Dawn I. Velligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Aim: Cognitive and functioning impairments are present early in the course of psychotic disorder and remain one of the greatest treatment challenges. Cognitive adaptation training (CAT) is a compensatory approach to psychosocial intervention that is underpinned by a model that incorporates the role of cognition in daily functioning. CAT has established effectiveness in chronic schizophrenia but has received limited investigation in first-episode psychosis (FEP). The aim of this study was to examine the feasibility and acceptability of CAT in young people with FEP. Methods: This was a single-arm feasibility study of CAT conducted at the Early Psychosis Prevention and Intervention Centre, Melbourne, Australia. Five FEP participants received manually guided CAT from a fully trained CAT therapist. A range of feasibility and acceptability measures were recorded throughout the study, including participant and case manager satisfaction ratings. Results: All participants completed the CAT intervention and session attendance rates were very high (95.3%). Participants and their case managers indicated strong satisfaction with CAT as indicated by positive mean ratings on all satisfaction items, although there was a greater range in the participant ratings. Importantly, CAT did not have a negative effect on existing case management, with case managers reporting that CAT enhanced their treatment. Conclusions: This study provides evidence that CAT is a highly feasible and acceptable intervention in FEP, which may be easily integrated within existing services. The effectiveness of CAT in improving functional outcomes in FEP is worthy of investigation in a larger trial.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)476-484
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • cognitive adaptation
  • compensatory strategy
  • environmental support
  • first-episode psychosis
  • functional recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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