News

A recent meta-analysis reported that patients with psychosis benefited significantly from our metacognitive training (MCT) compared to a control group in terms of positive symptoms, delusions, and acceptance of the intervention. This meta-analysis can be found here.

Profile

Our working group is engaged in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of psychiatric disorders. We also conduct research on (meta)cognitive deficits present in psychiatric disorders. The head of the Clinical Neuropsychology Working Groupis Prof. Steffen Moritz. Founding members are Prof. Burghard Andresen and Prof. Reinhard Maß.

Research

We conduct research on a variety of psychiatric diseases, including schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, and borderline personality disorder, in collaboration with German and international research partners. Our work is funded by grants from the government and mental health research organizations, as well as by donations from individual sponsors. We conduct clinical research utilizing established neuropsychological tasks and questionnaires, as well as self-developed experimental cognitive paradigms. We are also at the forefront of using online research methods and have recently conducted several studies of online psychological treatments. Our work has been published in leading scientific journals, including recent articles in The Journal of the American Medical Association, Behaviour Research and Therapy, Schizophrenia Bulletin, and Epilepsia. Our current research projects are described in more detail on this website (see the Research tab above). We always appreciate comments or questions about our research (moritz [@] uke.de)!

Treatment of Cognitive Disorders

We have offered a form of psychotherapy training called metacognitive training for psychosis (MCT), which was developed by our research group, since 2005. The training is based on recently developed conceptualizations of treatment approaches to schizophrenia, and it targets metacognitive processes (i.e., thinking about thinking) with the goal of improving everyday functioning. We have adapted and developed MCT for other disorders (borderline personality disorder and depression) for treatment in a group setting. A manual for the individual treatment of patients with schizophrenia (MCT+) and a self-help manual for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (myMCT) are also available. We are currently conducting several studies to assess all interventions in relation to their acceptance, feasibility, and effectiveness among patients. Moreover, we have devised a new technique to decrease obsessive thoughts that has been evaluated as successful in a pilot study (association splitting).

Assessment and Diagnostics

Standard neuropsychological methods are used in assessment of our patients. The most frequent diagnostic questions are as follows:

  • diagnostic verification of dementia (especially the differential diagnosis of depression), amnestic syndrome (in the context of substance dependence), or attention deficit disorder
  • validation of subjective cognitive complaints
  • intelligence assessment (e.g., in cases of suspected intellectual deficit, diagnosis code F70)
  • assessment of the ability to drive or operate machinery
  • assessment of work performance and the ability to attend school or university
  • verification of drug-induced neuropsychological dysfunctions

The possible influences of psychopathological conditions and medication on neuropsychological functioning are carefully considered in our final written reports. Each year we process approximately 350 requests from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. theses

We offer students opportunities to be involved in our group’s various research projects. As a part of this, students may be able to work on their bachelor’s thesis, master’s thesis and Ph.D. dissertation. If you are interested, please send an email with attachments (e.g., letters of reference) to moritz [@] uke.de [please, no "snail mail"].

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