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To test if specific correlations exist between cognitive measures and psychotic dimensions in schizophrenic subjects and if similar correlations, between cognition and schizotypal dimensions, are present in non-psychotic subjects.
We administered the same battery of cognitive tests (Source Monitoring, Verbal Fluency [VF] and Stroop tests) to schizophrenic subjects (N = 54), their first-degree relatives (N = 37) and controls (N = 41). Scores of negative, positive and disorganisation dimensions were derived from the Signs and Symptoms of Psychotic Illness scale in schizophrenic subjects, and from the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire in relatives and controls.
In schizophrenic subjects, as hypothesised, the negative dimension correlated with performance on VF and disorganisation with performance in the Stroop test. The positive dimension did not correlate with any cognitive measure.
With only one exception, the significant correlations observed in non-psychotic subjects did not match correlations seen in schizophrenic subjects. In non-psychotic subjects greater disorganisation was associated with more clustered words in VF suggesting that excessive automatic spreading of activation in semantic networks could underlie this dimension.
As a whole, data lent partial support to our hypothesis of specific cognitive–clinical correlations in schizophrenic subjects but did not support the existence of similar correlations in non-psychotic subjects.
The Community Assessment of Psychic Experiences (CAPE) is a 42-item self-report questionnaire that has been developed and validated to measure the dimensions of psychosis in the general population. The CAPE has a three-factor structure with dimensions of positive, negative and depression. Assessing the cross-national equivalence of a questionnaire is an essential prerequisite before pooling data from different countries. In this study, our aim was to investigate the measurement invariance of the CAPE across different countries.
Data were drawn from the European Union Gene-Environment Interaction (EU-GEI) study. Participants (incident cases of psychotic disorder, controls and siblings of cases) were recruited in Brazil, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and UK. To analyse the measurement invariance across these samples, we tested configural invariance (i.e. identical structures of the factors), metric invariance (i.e. equivalence of the factor loadings) and scalar invariance (i.e. equivalence of the thresholds) of the three CAPE dimensions using multigroup categorical confirmatory factor analysis methods.
The configural invariance model fits well, providing evidence for identical factorial structure across countries. In comparison with the configural model invariance, the fit indices were very similar in the metric and scalar invariance models, indicating that factor loadings and thresholds did not differ across the six countries.
We found that, across six countries, the CAPE showed equivalent factorial structure, factor loadings and thresholds. Thus, differences observed in scores between individuals from different countries should be considered as reflecting different levels of psychosis.
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