The relationship between cognitive deficits and the course of schizophrenia. Preliminary research on participants of a rehabilitation programme
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Arch Psych Psych 2009;11(3):27-34
Aim. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the relationship between the course of illness, the results of rehabilitation and the type and severity of cognitive disorders in a group of patients diagnosed with chronic schizophrenia. Methods. The assessment of cognitive deficits includes efficiency of executive functions and working memory tested with the WCST and the Trail Making Test as well as the assessment of the verbal and category fluency. Four indicators of the course of schizophrenia were considered: the severity of psychopathological symptoms evaluated with the PANNS, social contacts and professional functioning evaluated using a clinical scale, and quality of life evaluated with the Lancashire Quality of life Profile. The subjects were 64 patients with diagnosis of schizophrenia, as defined in DSM-IV and ICD-10, who participated in the rehabilitation programme. Results. It has been shown that lower results in the verbal fluency test are related to an increased severity of negative symptoms, lesser readiness to take up a job, a lower number of social contacts and a lower evaluation of the indicators of quality of life in the domains of work, privacy level and satisfaction derived from the time spent outside of one's home. The results of the TMT correlate with the severity of negative symptoms and general symptoms evaluated with the PANSS as well as with the readiness to take up employment. The number of correct answers in the WCST correlates with the age of the first hospitalisation and readiness to take up a job. Persons with higher education made fewer perseverance errors. A lower number of non-perseverance errors corresponds with being employed before or after the onset of the illness. Persons who completed the first section of the test faster are the ones with a higher number of social contacts. Conclusions. The study found relationships between the severity of cognitive deficits and the majority of tested indicators of rehabilitation outcomes in the group of persons with a long history of schizophrenia.
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