Verbal memory, negative symptomatology and prediction psychosocial functioning in schizophrenia
Negative symptomatology and neurocognitive variables have been considered good predictors of functional outcome in schizophrenia. Specifically, secondary verbal memory has been proposed to be one of the main predictors of psychosocial functioning. In this study, negative symptoms and memory performance were analyzed for associations with psychosocial function. Linear regression methods were used to analyze the value of verbal memory and negative symptomatology as predictors of everyday life skills in a sample of 29 DSM-IV schizophrenia outpatients with predominant negative symptoms. We also took into account the role of gender in the analyses. Secondary verbal memory was found to explain 40% of the variance in psychosocial functioning, independently of gender, whereas the negative symptoms predicted 26%. When both variables were combined, the explained variance was about 49%. These results support the hypothesis that cognitive variables are better predictors than symptomatology. Finally, secondary verbal memory is a good predictor of psychosocial functioning in chronic schizophrenia with predominant negative symptomatology.
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