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Title: Cognitive impairment and outcome in schizophrenia
Author: Williamson, Oonagh F.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2003
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Objectives: The main focus of this study was the investigation of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia, specifically memory and executive impairment, and the link this has with outcome in the illness. The hypotheses being that both memory impairment and executive dysfunction would be demonstrated and that cognitive dysfunction would be linked to outcome. An attempt was also made to replicate Liddle et al's (1987) finding of three syndromes of schizophrenic symptoms (Psychomotor Poverty, Reality Distortion and Disorganisation) and linking two of these factors to executive dysfunction. Design: A group of 70 patients with schizophrenia at varying stages of the Rehabilitation process completed a neuropsychological battery of assessments including tests of memory and executive function. Correlational analyses were carried out on results. A between group comparison of "successful" versus "unsuccessful" outcome in schizophrenia with 15 patients in each group was also carried out. Results: Memory impairment and executive dysfunction were found to be present and were disproportionately pronounced compared to overall level of cognitive impairment. The hypothesis that cognitive impairment would be linked to outcome was also substantiated in the between group analysis investigating "successful" versus "unsuccessful" outcome where two measures of executive assessments were demonstrated to be the best predictors of outcome. Finally, three Factors were identified through factor analysis, which corresponded closely to Liddle et al's (1987) 3 syndromes of schizophrenia. The hypothesis that the two Factors corresponding to Liddle's Psychomotor Poverty and Disorganisation would be linked to executive dysfunction was not supported. Conclusions: This study supports the increasing recognition that neuropsychological deficits are an integral part of schizophrenia and significantly associated with outcome in the illness. This has led to the development of cognitive remediation strategies with the aim of improving neurocognitive deficits to aid the rehabilitation process.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available