The course of cognitive functioning after first-episode of psychosis: A six month follow-up study

Liina Haring, René Mõttus, Kärolin Kajalaid, Kadri Koch, Kärt Uppin, Eduard Maron, Eero Vasar

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Our aim with the present study was to evaluate rank-order and mean-level cognitive functioning stability among first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients, measured using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB), over a six month period. We also aimed to examine longitudinal measurement invariance and identify factors—such as age, gender, educational level, treatment and psychopathological change scores—potentially linked to cognitive change among patients. In addition, correlations between objectively measured and subjectively evaluated cognitive functioning were estimated. Neuropsychological assessments were administered to 85 patients after the initial stabilisation of their psychosis; 82 of the patients were retested. Subjectively perceived cognitive functioning was measured using a subscale derived from the Estonian version of the Subjective Well-Being Under Neuroleptic Scale (SWN-K-E). On average, executive functioning and processing speed improved significantly, while memory test scores decreased significantly, over time. Very high rank-order stability (r = 0.80 to 0.94, p lt; 0.001) was observed with all measured ability scores. Confirmatory factor analysis revealed the loadings of a single (broad ability) factor model were equal across both measurement occasions, but the lack of intercept invariance suggested that mean-level comparisons are more appropriately carried out at a subtest level. On average psychopathology scores and antipsychotics doses declined over time, with the latter also significantly correlating with better executive functioning. Gender was a significant moderator of some domains of cognitive performance, and decline tended to be somewhat more pronounced for women. The results also indicated the lack of any relationship between objective and subjective measurements of cognitive functioning.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Early online date13 Oct 2016
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Oct 2016


  • Cognitive dysfunction, First-episode psychosis
  • Measurement invariance
  • SWN-K


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