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Psychiatry Res. 2014 Jul 30;217(3):163-70. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2014.03.026. Epub 2014 Mar 28.

Multitasking capacities in persons diagnosed with schizophrenia: a preliminary examination of their neurocognitive underpinnings and ability to predict real world functioning.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, University of Liège, Bd. du Rectorat (B33), 4000 Liège, Belgium. Electronic address: j.laloyaux@ulg.ac.be.
2
Department of Psychology, University of Liège, Bd. du Rectorat (B33), 4000 Liège, Belgium; Cognitive Psychopathology and Neuropsychology Unit, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland.
3
Department of Psychology, University of Liège, Bd. du Rectorat (B33), 4000 Liège, Belgium; Intercommunale de Soins Spécialisés de Liège (Mental Health Sector), Liège, Belgium.
4
Intercommunale de Soins Spécialisés de Liège (Mental Health Sector), Liège, Belgium.
5
Department of Psychology, University of Liège, Bd. du Rectorat (B33), 4000 Liège, Belgium.

Abstract

Difficulties in everyday life activities are core features of persons diagnosed with schizophrenia and in particular during multitasking activities. However, at present, patients׳ multitasking capacities have not been adequately examined in the literature due to the absence of suitable assessment strategies. We thus recently developed a computerized real-life activity task designed to take into account the complex and multitasking nature of certain everyday life activities where participants are required to prepare a room for a meeting. Twenty-one individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and 20 matched healthy controls completed the computerized task. Patients were also evaluated with a cognitive battery, measures of symptomatology and real world functioning. To examine the ecological validity, 14 other patients were recruited and were given the computerized version and a real version of the meeting preparation task. Results showed that performance on the computerized task was significantly correlated with executive functioning, pointing to the major implication of these cognitive processes in multitasking situations. Performance on the computerized task also significantly predicted up to 50% of real world functioning. Moreover, the computerized task demonstrated good ecological validity. These findings suggest the importance of evaluating multitasking capacities in patients diagnosed with schizophrenia in order to predict real world functioning.

KEYWORDS:

Daily life; Daily living activity; Ecological validity; Executive function; Neurocognition

PMID:
24731876
DOI:
10.1016/j.psychres.2014.03.026
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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