Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Peggy El-Mallakh

Clinical Mentor

Marc Woods

Committee Member

Dr. Chizimuzo Okoli


Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) is a program, developed at the University of Pittsburgh, to improve cognitive deficits experienced by people diagnosed with schizophrenia. Since its implementation in various settings, CET has demonstrated positive outcomes for patients in many cognitive domains. This study took a mixed methods approach to assess the interest and knowledge of mental health providers at a regional level and a local mental health facility in particular, about beginning a CET program. The quantitative study obtained data from evaluations administered during two CET training events at a local mental health facility. Digitally recorded qualitative interviews were conducted with providers and administrative staff members of a local mental health facility who attended the trainings. Qualitative data was assessed using thematic analysis of the transcribed interviews. Findings indicate that facilitators to CET implementation include the perception of need for a new therapeutic method to enhance cognition, a non-prescriptive staff desire for new evidence based practice innovations, a positive outlook for patient participation, and a current framework for analogous interventions. Barriers to implementation include the current duration of patient stay vs. the length of CET treatment (program adaptability), the current medical model employed at the local mental health facility, prescriber skepticism, logistical issues, and questions about an expanded evidence base for CET.