Assessing cognitive deficits in bipolar disorder: are self-reports valid?
ABSTRACT Patients with affective disorders frequently report problems with attention, concentration and memory, although little research has investigated subjective cognitive complaints relative to objective neuropsychological deficits. We compared subjective (self-rated) cognition and objective (clinician-rated) neuropsychological functioning in 37 DSM-IV bipolar outpatients. Subjects completed three standardized self-report inventories: the Cognitive Difficulties Scale (CDS), Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ), and Patient's Assessment of Own Functioning (PAOF). These were followed by a systematic neuropsychological test battery. More than 75% of our sample of bipolar patients displayed some cognitive deficits, most notably in the domains of verbal learning and memory. In general, patients' self-reports of impairment failed to reliably predict objective neuropsychological deficits. Mood ratings for mania and depression were not significantly correlated with any of the self-report inventories or the objective neuropsychological variables. The findings suggest that most bipolar patients demonstrate objective signs of cognitive impairment, but they are unable to report them accurately, at least using available self-report inventories. Such discrepancies could relate to impaired insight, efforts to conceal deficits, or to subthreshold affective symptoms.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Cross-sectional and meta-analytic studies showed that patients with bipolar disorder (BD) had neurocognitive impairments even during periods of euthymia. The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of BD patients with and without clinically significant cognitive impairments, as well as to analyze clinical and functional variables in these subgroups. Methods: Hundred patients with BD and 40 healthy controls were assessed with an extensive neurocognitive assessment. Soft (some cognitive domain with a performance below 1.5 SD of the mean) and hard (at least two domains with values below 2 SD of the mean) criteria were utilized to define clinically significant cognitive impairments. Results: Using both soft and hard criteria, the prevalence of clinically significant cognitive impairments was higher in people with BD than in healthy controls. 70% of patients only showed failures of small effect (d = 0.21-0.35) in 2 measures of executive functions. Moreover, 30% of patients were indistinguishable from healthy subjects in terms of both neurocognitive and psychosocial functioning. On the contrary, 30% of the sample showed more severe cognitive deficits than those usually reported in literature and had the worst psychosocial functioning. Conclusions: The fact that cognitive impairments are very heterogeneous among euthymic patients with BD could contribute to understanding differences in functional outcome. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.Journal of Affective Disorders 06/2014; 167C:118-124. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2014.05.059 · 3.71 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This study investigated the correspondence between self-report and experimental measures of cognitive flexibility in individuals with anorexia nervosa (AN) and healthy controls (HCs). Ninety-four participants (45 individuals with AN and 49 HCs) completed the self-report Cognitive Flexibility Scale (CFS) and an experimental task, the Brixton Spatial Anticipation Test. The AN group performed poorly on both measures of cognitive flexibility compared with HCs. There was no significant correlation between the CFS scores and the errors on the Brixton Test for both groups. The findings suggest there is poor correspondence between the self-report measure of cognitive flexibility and performance on the flexibility test. These two assessment tools therefore cannot be used interchangeably to assess cognitive flexibility. Flexibility is an important clinical characteristic in AN. The results suggest that self-report and behavioral measures can be complementary, but cannot be used as an alternative to one another.Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society 05/2011; 17(5):925-8. DOI:10.1017/S1355617711000671 · 3.01 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the association between cognitive complaints and objective cognitive functioning in bipolar patients, with a focus on the moderating role of depressive symptoms. The association between cognitive complaints (measured by the total score and four subscales of the Cognitive Failure Questionnaire; CFQ) and objective cognitive functioning (domains of psychomotor speed, speed of information processing, attentional switching, verbal memory, visual memory and executive functioning/working memory, and the total score) was assessed in 108 euthymic (n=45) or mildly to moderately depressed bipolar patients (n=63). We studied potential moderation of this association by depressive symptoms (total score of the Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-self rating). Analyses were performed using Pearson correlations and multiple linear regression. Cognitive complaints were not associated with objective cognitive functioning, except for CFQ 'memory for names' which was positively correlated with speed of information processing (r=0.257, p=0.007). Although depressive symptoms were positively associated with cognitive complaints (total score and three subscales; p<0.01), the association between cognitive complaints and objective cognitive functioning was not moderated by depressive symptoms (p for interaction 0.054 to 0.988). It can be argued whether the retrospective questionnaire (CFQ) is sufficiently accurate to measure the type of cognitive dysfunctions seen in bipolar patients. Cognitive complaints are not associated with objective cognitive functioning, irrespective of depressive symptoms. However, cognitive complaints are indicative for depressive symptoms. Clinicians should be to be alert to depressive symptoms rather than objective cognitive problems in patients expressing cognitive complaints.Journal of Affective Disorders 02/2011; 130(1-2):306-11. DOI:10.1016/j.jad.2010.10.005 · 3.71 Impact Factor