Daily Functioning and Information-Processing Skills Among Persons With Schizophrenia

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Abstract

Objectives

This study aimed to describe the limitations in information-processing skills observed among persons with schizophrenia performing daily tasks and to explore whether subgroups of participants have similar profiles based on these functional limitations.

Methods

Eighty-two participants with schizophrenia living in the community were assessed during their performance of a daily activity (meal preparation). Measures included a performance-based assessment for evaluating information-processing skills—the Perceive, Recall, Plan, and Perform System of Task Analysis—community functioning and symptom assessments, and neuropsychological tests from the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery. Research participants were classified as having high efficiency or low efficiency according to their score on the performance-based assessment and were compared on the functional, cognitive, and symptoms variables.

Results

Participants committed various errors, and functional limitations, namely problematic information-processing skills in the perceive, recall, and plan quadrants, were observed during the daily task performance. Participants from the high-efficiency group were more independent in their living skills and more successful in attaining residential independence compared with participants from the low-efficiency group. The only cognitive test that differentiated both groups was the visuospatial associative learning test. No differences were found in the severity of symptoms.

Conclusions

Findings suggest that both performance in a daily task and memory—and specifically associative learning capacity—provide key information for the level of residential independence. Interventions aiming for the efficient use of information-processing skills during daily tasks among persons with schizophrenia should be carried out accordingly.

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