Cognitive function and competitive employment in schizophrenia: relative contribution of insight and psychopathology.
ABSTRACT This study investigated the relationships among insight, psychopathology, cognitive function, and competitive employment in order to determine whether insight and/or psychopathology carried the influence of cognitive function to competitive employment.
We recruited 253 outpatients with stable schizophrenia and we further divided our sample into two groups of patients (unemployed and competitive employment subjects). Clinical and neuropsychological assessments were performed. All clinical variables significantly different between the two groups of subjects were subsequently analyzed using a binary logistic regression to assess their independent contribution to competitive employment in the two patients' groups. On the basis of the regression results two mediation analyses were performed.
Verbal memory, general psychopathology, and awareness of mental illness were significantly associated with competitive employment in our sample. Both awareness of mental illness and general psychopathology had a role in mediating the verbal memory-competitive employment relationship.
Taken together, these findings confirmed the importance of cognitive function in obtaining competitive employment. Our results also highlighted the independent role of general psychopathology and awareness of illness on occupational functioning in schizophrenia. Thus, a greater attention must be given to the systematic investigation of insight and general psychopathology in light of an amelioration of vocational functioning in stable schizophrenia.
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ABSTRACT: Schizophrenia is associated with pronounced vocational impairment. Previous research has mostly focused on chronic patients and few studies were conducted to investigate predictors of work outcome in first-episode populations. The impact of cognitive dysfunction on employment outcome in early psychosis was under-studied. In this study, we prospectively followed up 93 patients aged 18-55 years presented with first-episode schizophrenia-spectrum disorder for 3 years with an aim to identify early clinical and cognitive predictors of vocational outcome. Pre-morbid adjustment, baseline symptomatology and cognitive functions, and employment outcome were assessed. Result indicated that approximately half of the patients (53.8%) were engaged in full-time work at intake and at 3 years. Pre-morbid adjustment, baseline occupational status and Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) performance were found to predict vocational outcome. Analysis on a subgroup of patients who were unemployed at intake showed that subjects who remained unemployed over 3 years had poorer WCST performance and more severe positive symptoms at baseline than those having job attainment during follow-up. Our results thus confirmed predictive value of pre-morbid functioning and baseline occupational status on vocational outcome. In addition, our findings suggested that executive function might be a critical cognitive determinant of employment outcome in the early course of schizophrenia.Psychiatry Research 09/2014; 220(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.09.012 · 2.68 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Unemployment among people with schizophrenia remains high despite slight improvements in vocational rehabilitation services and attitudes towards people with mental health disorders over the years. Experts are in a good position to increase our understanding on why this group still experiences such significant barriers to employment. OBJECTIVE: Interviews explored experts' views on schizophrenia and employment; with a particular focus on individual, attitudinal and structural barriers, as well as available interventions and their outcomes. METHODS: The sample of 20 experts were recruited using theoretical sampling. The experts consisted of: employment specialists, healthcare professionals, activists from patient organisations, academics, caregivers and employers. A thematic approach was used for analysis. RESULTS: Low expectations of healthcare professionals which were often manifested as minimal recognition of employment as an outcome for people with schizophrenia as well as a “benefits trap” were identified as the strongest barriers to employment. In addition, the IPS model was identified as the most effective to support people to work, but lack of funding to implement the model nationally and concerns of poor implementation were raised by the experts. CONCLUSIONS: More research is required to examine which adaptations are needed for vocational interventions in order to implement them successfully.Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation 06/2014; 41(1):29-44. DOI:10.3233/JVR-140696
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ABSTRACT: Theory of mind (ToM) impairment is common in individuals with schizophrenia and is associated with poor social functioning. Poor insight has also been linked to poor outcome in schizophrenia. Social developmental research has shown representations of self (insight) and representations of others (ToM) are related. In schizophrenia, contradictory reports of associations between insight and ToM have emerged, possibly due to a failure to account for neurocognitive impairments and symptoms associated with both mentalization constructs. This study investigated the relationships between ToM (intentions of others on the Hinting Task) and clinical and cognitive insight, while accounting for shared variance with neurocognitive impairment and symptom severity in 193 individuals with schizophrenia. Clinical, but not cognitive, insight was associated with ToM. A unique association between Awareness of Mental Illness and Hinting Task performance was found, independent of shared variance with neurocognition and symptoms. Importantly, ToM was found to mediate Awareness of Mental Illness and neurocognition. Results suggested that treatments targeting mentalization abilities that contribute to representations of self and others may improve insight deficits associated with poor outcome in schizophrenia. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.Psychiatry Research 11/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.11.010 · 2.68 Impact Factor