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The influence of neurocognitive deficits and symptoms on disability in schizophrenia

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Objective: The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship of disability with neurocognitive deficits and symptoms in schizophrenia.

Method: Sixty patients with schizophrenia and 30 healthy controls matched for age, sex and level of education were included in the study. Neurocognitive tests measuring attention, visual memory and executive functions were given. Severity of symptomatology was assessed by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Disability level of the subjects was assessed by World Health Organisation–Disability Assessment Schedule 2 (WHO–DAS-2).

Results: PANSS total score and the subscores were all correlated with DAS scores at a significant level. Neurocognitive test scores were not significantly associated with disability level. Regression analysis furthermore showed that symptom severity was predictive of the disability level.

Conclusion: These results suggest that, rather than neurocognitive deficits, symptoms appear to have direct impact on the functioning of patients with schizophrenia in many domains of life.

Keywords: disability evaluation; neuropsychological tests; schizophrenia

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey

Publication date: March 1, 2002


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