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Schizophr Res. 1997 May 3;25(1):21-31.

The functional significance of symptomatology and cognitive function in schizophrenia.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, USA.


The relationships between positive and negative symptomatology, cognitive function, and the ability to perform basic activities of daily living in patients with schizophrenia were examined in two studies. In study 1, 112 medicated patients were assessed utilizing the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (positive symptoms), the Negative Symptom Assessment (negative symptoms and cognitive function), and the Functional Needs Assessment (activities of daily living). Study 2 (n = 41), utilized the same measures of symptomatology and added a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. Regression analyses in both studies determined that symptomatology predicts a relatively small amount of the variance in the ability to perform basic activities of daily living. Cognitive function, whether assessed with the Cognition subscale of the Negative Symptom Assessment or a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery, predicted over 40% of the variance in scores on the Functional Needs Assessment. A path model in which cognition predicted both concurrent symptomatology and activities of daily living and where symptomatology had little direct impact upon activities of daily living fit the data. The importance of addressing cognitive deficits in psychosocial intervention programs is discussed.

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