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Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. 2004 Aug;254(4):256-62.

Executive dysfunctions in schizophrenia. Relationships to clinical manifestation.

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Department of Psychiatry, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, ROC.


Studies suggest that executive functions in patients with schizophrenia are markedly impaired as compared with normal controls. Most previous studies employed tests of executive functions adopted from frontal lobe neuropsychological paradigms based on lesion studies. This study employed several more recently developed theory-driven tests of executive functions addressing the construct of the supervisory attentional system. We explore the pattern of executive function impairment using factor analysis and subsequently investigate the relationships between these executive function factors and the clinical features in a sample of chronic schizophrenic patients. A total of 51 patients with chronic schizophrenia were recruited. The Sustained Attention Response to Task (SART), Six Elements Test (SET) and Hayling Sentence Completion Test (HSC) were used to assess executive functions. Three factors were identified within the executive function tests: 1) The "semantic inhibition factor" comprised items in the HSC, 2) the "action/attention inhibition" factor comprised the SART commission error and the SET rule-breaking score and 3) the "output generation factor" comprised the SET raw score and the correct SART response. Significant relationships were found between these derived factors and clinical features after partialling out the confounding effect of age, education and illness duration. The three theory-based tests of executive function were shown to have good construct validity among the group of chronic schizophrenic patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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