Clinicians' concepts of the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia.

Research paper by Elizabeth E Bromley

Indexed on: 11 Apr '07Published on: 11 Apr '07Published in: Schizophrenia bulletin


Several compounds to improve cognition in schizophrenia are being studied in clinical trials, but little is known about how clinicians conceptualize the cognitive deficits of schizophrenia. In a pilot study, the author asked 40 psychiatrists 3 brief questions about the clinical presentation of cognitive deficits. Descriptions of cognitive deficits show high variability. Informants describe phenomenology like follow-through, attention, and emptiness as indicative of cognitive impairment. Informants' concepts of cognitive deficits overlap substantially with positive, negative, and thought disorder symptoms. Clinicians' concepts are complex and contextualized, in contrast to the discrete skills measured by neuropsychological tests. Results suggest that appropriate prescribing of cognition-enhancing medications may be challenging.