The effect and mechanisms of implementation intention in improving prospective memory performance in schizophrenia patients

X.-J. Chen, L.-L. Liu, J.-F. Cui, M.-Y. Gan, C.-Q. Li, D.L. Neumann, Ho Keung David Shum, Y. Wang, R.C.K. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 Elsevier Ireland LtdPeople with schizophrenia (SCZ) have been shown to have prospective memory (PM) deficits. PM refers to the ability to remember to perform delayed intentions in the future and plays an important role in everyday independent functioning in SCZ. To date, few studies have investigated methods to improve PM in SCZ. This study aimed to examine whether implementation intention can improve PM performance and to explore its underlying mechanisms. Fifty people with SCZ and 50 demographically matched healthy controls (HC) participated in this study. Participants were randomly assigned to an implementation intention condition or a control instruction condition. Participants were required to make PM responses when PM cue words appeared while they were undertaking an ongoing task with two levels of cognitive load (1-back or 2-back). Results showed that people with SCZ were impaired in PM, and implementation intention improved PM performances for both SCZ and HC. Implementation intention improved PM performance in SCZ in both the low and the high cognitive load conditions without ongoing task cost, suggesting that implementation intention improved PM remembering in an automatic way. These results indicate that implementation intention may be a beneficial technique for improving PM performances in people with SCZ.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalPsychiatry Research
Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Implementation intention
  • Mechanism
  • Prospective memory
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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