General and social cognition in first episode schizophrenia: Identification of separable factors and prediction of functional outcome using the IntegNeuro test battery

Leanne M. Williams*, Thomas J. Whitford, Gary Flynn, Wilson Wong, Belinda J. Liddell, Steven Silverstein, Cherrie Galletly, Anthony W F Harris, Evian Gordon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: It is increasingly recognized that cognitive assessments, unlike symptom ratings, provide a reliable predictor of functional outcome in schizophrenia. This study evaluated the utility of the 'IntegNeuro' computerized test battery for assessing cognition in first episode schizophrenia. We determined the presence of separable factors of general and social cognition, their equivalence to the consensus domains identified by the NIMH MATRICS project, and their effectiveness in predicting real world functional outcomes. Method: Fifty six first episode schizophrenia (FES) patients and 112 matched healthy controls were assessed on the touchscreen-based 'IntegNeuro' cognitive test battery and FES patients for social functioning (SOFAS) and quality of life (WHOQOL-BREF). Results: Principal components analysis identified i) six factors corresponding to MATRICS domains of general cognition ('Information Processing Speed', 'Verbal Recall', 'Working Memory Capacity', 'Sustained Attention/Vigilance', 'Verbal Processing', 'Executive Function'), ii) an 'Emotional Intelligence' factor corresponding to the MATRICS social cognition domain, and iii) an additional 'Sensori-Motor Function' factor of general cognition and 'Negativity' factor of social cognition. Patients showed impairments relative to controls across all factors, but especially for Working Memory Capacity, followed by Verbal Memory, Sustained Attention/Vigilance and Negativity. These factors strongly predicted poorer social functioning in FES, along with poorer quality of life in psychological, social, and health satisfaction facets. Conclusion: The IntegNeuro battery has utility for assessing separable domains of general and social cognition in FES, which are predictive of real world outcomes. Thus, it may be appropriate for clinical application, including in multi-center trials targeting new treatments for cognition in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)182-191
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Volume99
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • First episode schizophrenia
  • General and social cognition
  • IntegNeuro test battery
  • Quality of life
  • Social functioning

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