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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 181-189

Executive function in patients with schizophrenia based on socio-occupational impairment: A cross-sectional study

1 Department of Psychiatry, Asha Hospital, Hyderabad, Telangana, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Avinash De Sousa
Department of Psychiatry, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and General Hospital, Mumbai, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_85_18

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Background: Executive dysfunction deficit is the functionally most important cognitive deficit noted in schizophrenia. There is a dearth of Indian literature on the subject. The current study aimed at studying these executive functions in patients with schizophrenia in remission. Methodology: Sixty outpatients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia as per international classification of diseases-10 criteria; in remission as measured by Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale scores were divided into two groups using the personal and social performance scale. The patients with and without socio-occupational impairment formed the two groups. All patients were administered the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Stroop test, Color Trails Test 1 and 2, Phonemic Fluency (Controlled Oral Word Association Test), and category fluency (animal names test) tests and the tower of London test to ascertain deficits in executive functions. The data obtained were subjected to statistical analysis. Results: The two groups were well matched. The group with socio-occupational impairment showed a lesser number of categories completed (P = 0.001), more perseverative errors (P = 0.001), and greater percentage of the same (P = 0.001) on the WCST. Statistically significant differences between both groups were observed for scores on phonemic fluency (P = 0.012) and category fluency (P = 0.049) tests as well as the Tower of London test (P = 0.021). They also showed differences on the Stroop test and Color Trail tests, but this was not statistically significant. Conclusions: Performance on executive function tests is significantly correlated with functional outcome. It is important that future studies explore the role of these tests as a marker of socio-occupational impairment in schizophrenia.

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