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Cognitive remediation of executive dysfunction

Goal Management Training for patients with schizophrenia or high risk for schizophrenia

About the project

About 85% of patients with schizophrenia have cognitive impairments, executive functions being particularly affected. Executive dysfunction are important predictors of functional outcomes, including social problem solving, activities of daily living, life satisfaction and the ability to return to work or school. Unlike psychotic symptoms, cognitive deficits do not improve during periods of remission and change only minimally with antipsychotic medications. One of the best validated interventions for executive dysfunction is Goal Management Training (GMT). GMT is a group based intervention aimed at improving participants' ability to organize and achieve goals in everyday life. To our knowledge no previous studies have investigated the effect of group based GMT in patients with schizophrenia or patients with high risk. Hospital-admitted adults with broad schizophrenia spectrum disorders or high risk at Innlandet Hospital Trust, aged 16 – 67 years, will be screened for inclusion within 2 years. One treatment group (GMT; n=50) and one control group (waiting list (WL) n=50) will be included. A wide variety of neuropsychological tests, and subjective and informant report by established questionnaires will be applied. If GMT improves executive functioning it may have an important impact on the patient’s daily life and wellbeing.


The main objective of the current study is to examine the efficacy of GMT as a group based treatment program for patients with broad schizophrenia spectrum disorders or high risk individuals with executive deficits.

(1) Does a randomized controlled trial (RCT) with GMT delivered to patients with broad schizophrenia spectrum disorders or high risk for schizophrenia result in improved executive functioning, measured by self-reported and/or objective measures of executive functions?

(2) Does GMT result in improved goal attainment in everyday life, social- and real world functioning?

(3) Does GMT affect the patients’ emotional health?

(4) Are there specific characteristics in patients that are associated with better treatment benefit from GMT?


South-Eastern Regional Health Authority and Innlandet Hospital Trust 2017 - 2021.


The Regional Psychosis Research Network (Oslo University Hospital/Vestre Viken Hospital/Ahus/Hospital of Vestfold), as well as with relevant groups in the NORMENT Centre for Psychosis Research at Oslo University Hospital. International collaborators: Professor Brian Levine at the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest, Canada. Professor Til Wykes at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.

Published Jan. 16, 2018 2:57 PM - Last modified May 18, 2020 8:37 AM