Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies

Department Chair

John Cavenagh, MBA, PhD, PA-C


OBJECTIVE: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine whether or not cognitive remediation therapy (CRT) improves the neuropsychological function in patients with anorexia nervosa.

STUDY DESIGNS: Review of two randomized controlled trials and one non-randomized case series, published in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

DATA SOURCES: The three studies used in this review were published in English and found in PubMed.

OUTCOMES MEASURED: For all studies, neuropsychological function, such as memory, attention, and cognitive flexibility, were measured using pre- and post-treatment questionnaires. One study used a computerized task-shifting paradigm to determine cognitive flexibility.

RESULTS: Brockmeyer et al. and Lock et al. compared CRT to other forms of treatment, and Abbate-Daga et al. investigated the effects of CRT pre- and post-CRT. All three studies revealed statistically significant improvements in patient’s neuropsychological function following CRT. Brockmeyer et al. measured patients’ reaction times as an indication for cognitive flexibility during computerized exercises and found that reaction times were decreased in the CRT group compared to the group receiving non-neuropsychological therapy. In the study conducted by Lock et al., patients who received 8 sessions of CRT as compared to those who received cognitive behavioral therapy, showed enhanced cognitive flexibility and central coherence. Abbate-Daga et al. demonstrated an improvement in patient decision making from baseline measurements.

CONCLUSIONS: The results presented in these three studies suggest that cognitive remediation therapy is an effective treatment approach to improving the neuropsychological function in patients with anorexia nervosa.