Validating the Measurement of Real-World Functional Outcomes: Phase I Results of the VALERO Study
ABSTRACT Treatment of cognitive impairment has been proposed as an intervention to reduce disability in people with schizophrenia. The Validation of Everyday Real-World Outcomes (VALERO) study was conducted to evaluate functional rating scales and to identify the rating scale or scales most robustly related to performance-based measures of cognition and everyday living skills.
Adults with schizophrenia (N=198) were tested with the neurocognitive measures from the Measurement and Treatment Research to Improve Cognition in Schizophrenia (MATRICS) Consensus Cognitive Battery, the UCSD Performance-Based Skills Assessment-Brief Version, and the advanced finances subscale of the Everyday Functioning Battery. They and an informant (a friend, relative, clinician, or case manager) also reported their everyday functioning on six rating scales. Best judgment ratings were generated by an interviewer who administered the rating scales to patients and informants.
Statistical analyses developed an ability latent trait that reflected scores on the three performance-based (i.e., ability) measures, and canonical correlation analysis related interviewer ratings to the latent trait. The overall fit of the model with all six rating scales was good. Individual rating scales that did not improve the fit of the model were systematically deleted, and a final model with two rating scales was fitted to the data. A regression analysis found that the Specific Levels of Functioning Assessment was a superior predictor of the three performance-based ability measures.
Systematic assessments of real-world functioning were related to performance on neurocognitive and functional capacity measures. Of the six rating scales evaluated in this study, the Specific Levels of Functioning Assessment was the best. Use of a single rating scale provides an efficient assessment of real-world functioning that accounts for considerable variance in performance-based scores.
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ABSTRACT: a b s t r a c t Cognitive empathy impairments have been linked to poor social functioning in schizophrenia. However, prior studies primarily used self-reported empathy measures developed decades ago that are not well-aligned with contemporary models of empathy. We evaluated empathy and its relationship to social functioning in schizophrenia using the recently developed Questionnaire of Cognitive and Affective Empathy (QCAE). Schizophrenia (n ¼52) and healthy comparison (n ¼ 37) subjects completed the QCAE, Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI), and measures of neurocognition, symptoms, and social functioning. Between-group differences on the QCAE, and relationships between QCAE and IRI subscales, neurocog-nition, symptoms, and social functioning were examined. The schizophrenia group reported significantly lower cognitive empathy than comparison subjects, which was driven by low online simulation scores. Cognitive empathy explained significant variance in social functioning after accounting for neurocogni-tion and symptoms. Group differences for affective empathy were variable; the schizophrenia group reported similar proximal responsivity, but elevated emotion contagion relative to comparison subjects. These findings bolster support for the presence and functional significance of impaired cognitive empathy in schizophrenia using a contemporary measure of empathy. Emerging evidence that some aspects of affective empathy may be unimpaired or hyper-responsive in schizophrenia and implications for the assessment and treatment of empathy in schizophrenia are discussed.Psychiatry Research 10/2014; 220(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.08.054
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ABSTRACT: Neurocognitive impairment is a core feature in psychotic disorders and the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB) is now widely used to assess neurocognition in this group. The MATRICS has been translated into several languages, including Norwegian; although this version has yet to be investigated in an adult clinical population. Further, the relationship between the MATRICS and different measures of functioning needs examination. The purpose of this study was to describe neurocognition assessed with the Norwegian version of the MATRICS battery in a sample of patients with psychotic disorders compared to age and gender matched healthy controls and to examine the association with educational-, occupational- and social-functioning in the patient group. One hundred and thirty one patients and 137 healthy controls completed the battery. The Norwegian version of the MATRICS was sensitive to the magnitude of neurocognitive impairments in patients with psychotic disorders, with patients displaying significant impairments on all domains relative to healthy controls. Neurocognition was also related to both self-rated and objective functional measures such as social functioning, educational- and employment-history.Psychiatry Research 09/2014; 220(3). DOI:10.1016/j.psychres.2014.08.060
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ABSTRACT: The study aimed to assess the construct validity, internal consistency and factor structure of the Specific Levels of Functioning Scale (SLOF), a multidimensional instrument assessing real life functioning.Schizophrenia Research 08/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.schres.2014.07.044