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Component mechanisms of executive function in schizophrenia and their contribution to functional outcomes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Arthur A. Berberian, Ary Gadelha, Natália M. Dias, Tatiana P. Mecca, William E. Comfort, Rodrigo A. Bressan, Acioly T. Lacerda

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalRevista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
Volume41
Issue number1
DOIs
Published1 Jan 2019

King's Authors

Abstract

Objective: In schizophrenia, scores reflecting deficits in different cognitive processes are strongly correlated, making it difficult to establish a solid relationship between different cognitive mechanisms and other features of this disorder. The objective of this study was to explore whether three frequently postulated executive functions (updating, shifting, and inhibition) could be compared between groups and considered independently in terms of their respective roles in functional outcome. Methods: This study relied on confirmatory factor analysis of schizophrenia patients (n=141) and healthy controls (n=119). The main analyses examined the degree to which three executive functions (updating, set-shifting, and inhibition) could be separated in schizophrenia and compared this model among groups. Structural equation modeling analysis was also performed to examine the extent to which executive function components contribute to functional outcome in schizophrenia. Results: Multiple-group confirmatory factor analysis with unconstrained model parameters indicated that the full three-factor model may fit the data in both groups (χ 2 = 61.48, degrees of freedom = 34, p < 0.001, comparative fit index = 0.95; standardized root mean square residual = 0.037; root mean square error of approximation = 0.04; Akaike’s information criteria = 169.49; normed fit index = 0.90), although there was also a good data fit for the patient group with a two-factor model. In the patient group, structural equation modeling suggested that shifting and (principally) updating were associated with the general measure of functional outcome (regression path coefficients: 0.34, p < 0.005; 0.39, p < 0.005, respectively), although when combined the mechanisms fail to contribute. Conclusion: This data suggests that the factor structure may be similar but not identical between groups, and both updating and shifting may play an important role in functional outcome in schizophrenia.

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