Background: Independence in community living is an important aspect of rehabilitation in schizophrenia. Previous studies investigating relationships of cognitive, symptomatic, and demographic factors in community living ability of schizophrenia showed inconsistent findings. These findings may be due to variations in functional measures used or a heterogenous sample of participants recruited.
Aim: To investigate the relationships of cognitive, symptomatic and demographic factors with community living skills for people with schizophrenia living in supported living facilities.
Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. Thirty-seven adults with schizophrenia and 32 matched healthy controls were recruited. Both groups completed the Verbal Fluency Test, subtests of Cognistat, and the Color Trail Test. Additional assessments (i.e., Chinese version of St. Louis Inventory of Community Living Skills – SLICLS-C and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale – PANSS) were used to evaluate participants with schizophrenia. Cognitive profile was compared between the two groups. Correlation analysis was used to explore the relationships of cognitive abilities, symptomatology, and demographic factors with community living skills in schizophrenia.
Results: Results showed that participants with schizophrenia performed worse than the control group in verbal fluency, visual memory, immediate memory, delayed memory, and executive function tests. Significant moderate correlations between SLICLS-C score and participants’ years of education, positive symptoms, general psychopathology, and PANSS total score were identified.
Discussions and Conclusion: Results indicated that cognitive impairments are persistent in schizophrenia who are in remission and have been partially integrated back into the community. Cognitive deficits that people with schizophrenia experience might be stable over most of the course of the illness. Participants’ years of education, positive symptoms, general psychopathology, and PANSS total score might be important moderating variables to include in future investigations related to predicting community living performance in schizophrenia.
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