Last updated on June 2018

Confirmatory Efficacy Trial of Cognitive Enhancement Therapy for Adult Autism Spectrum Disorder


Brief description of study

This study will investigate and confirm the efficacy of two psychological treatments for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) is a cognitive remediation intervention that aims to help adults with problems in thinking, planning, and socialization. Enriched Supportive Therapy (EST) is an individual supportive therapy that aims to help adults learn about their condition, manage their emotions and stress, improve their social skills, and cope with everyday problems.

Detailed Study Description

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by marked impairments in social and non-social cognitive ability that persist well into adulthood and contribute to significant functional disability. The treatment of ASD has focused almost exclusively on children, and few empirically supported interventions are available to address the core cognitive and functional challenges individuals with ASD face as they transition to adulthood. This study will investigate and confirm the efficacy of two psychological treatments for adults with autism spectrum disorder. Cognitive Enhancement Therapy (CET) is a cognitive remediation intervention that aims to help adults with problems in thinking, planning, and socialization. Enriched Supportive Therapy (EST) is an individual supportive therapy that aims to help adults learn about their condition, manage their emotions and stress, improve their social skills, and cope with everyday problems.

Participation in this study will last 30 months. Potential participants must be able to attend weekly treatment sessions in Pittsburgh, PA.

The study design is a 30-month (2.5 years) randomized-controlled confirmatory efficacy trial, where eligible participants will be randomized to the CET or EST study treatments. Participants will be treated with the study interventions for 18 months, and then followed for 12 additional months to assess the lasting impact of the study interventions. All participants will complete cognitive, clinical, and neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging) assessments prior to starting the study treatments and then at specified intervals thereafter to evaluate the impact of the study treatments on cognition, adaptive function, and the brain.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03170453

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University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA United States
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