Psychiatry Investig.  2017 Jan;14(1):8-15. 10.4306/pi.2017.14.1.8.

Short-Term Psychiatric Rehabilitation in Major Depressive and Bipolar Disorders: Neuropsychological-Psychosocial Outcomes

  • 1Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Hermanas Hospitalarias, Villa San Benedetto Menni Hospital, FoRiPsi, Albese con Cassano, Como, Italy.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, Netherlands.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Leonard Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA.


OBJECTIVE: Our pilot study aims to investigate the efficacy of a Short-Term (4 weeks) Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program (S-T PsyRP), without specific cognitive remediation trainings, on the neuropsychological performance and psychosocial functioning of inpatients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) or Bipolar Disorder (BD). Published studies with similar aims are lacking.
Fifty-three inpatients with MDD and 27 with BD (type I/II) were included. The S-T PsyRP was usually performed as clinical practice at Villa San Benedetto Menni Hospital and included a variety of activities aimed at promoting personal autonomies, interpersonal/social skills, and self-care. At the beginning and the end of the hospitalization we evaluated: neuropsychological performance (cognitive tests on verbal/visual working memory, attention, visual-constructive ability, language fluency, and comprehension); psychosocial functioning by the Rehabilitation Areas Form (RAF, handbook VADO); illness severity by the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS). Repeated-measure ANOVA and Pearson's linear correlation were used.
We found significant improvement (p<0.01) in all the neuropsychological tests except for one, in 4 out of 6 RAF psychosocial areas (“involvement in ward activities”, “autonomies”, “self-care”, and “self-management of health”) and in clinical symptoms severity. No associations were found between the amelioration of clinical symptoms and neuropsychological or psychosocial improvement.
A S-T PsyRP without specific cognitive remediation trainings may improve several cognitive/functional domains in MDD or BD inpatients, probably by offering opportunities to engage in demanding problem-solving conditions and cognitively stimulating activities.


Rehabilitation; Neuropsychology; Psychosocial; Depression; Bipolar disorder
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