The Functional Consequences of Memory Impairments on Initial Work Performance in People with Schizophrenia

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Exploring the link between cognitive impairments and domains of function is a new trend in schizophrenia research. This study reports on the association of verbal memory impairment and initial work function for a group of 87 individuals diagnosed with either schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder. Multiple regression analyses were used to predict the degree of association between verbal memory variables and ratings on the Work Behavior Inventory (WBI) in the initial week of a vocational rehabilitation program. Results indicated that verbal memory scores predicted 20% of the WBI total score. Results also indicated strong relationships with the individual work domains of work habits and work quality and weaker relationships with the domains of cooperativeness and personal presentation. No significant relationship was found between verbal memory variables and social skills at the job site. Verbal memory impairment is discussed as a rate limiting factor in rehabilitation.

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