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This study investigated the ability of the Audio Recorded Cognitive Screen (ARCS) to detect cognitive deficit in individuals with schizophrenia, relative to the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS), and explored the associations between the ARCS and functional outcomes. We hypothesised that the ARCS would be able to better discriminate between individuals with schizophrenia and healthy controls than the MMSE, and that ARCS performance would be correlated with measures of social and vocational functioning.
The participants were 19 community-dwelling individuals with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder and 19 healthy controls recruited from the Australian Schizophrenia Research Bank (ASRB). Participants completed the ARCS, MMSE, and self-report measures of social and vocational functioning. Clinical and diagnostic data stored by the ASRB were also utilised.
The schizophrenia group performed worse than the control group on the ARCS, with memory, t(36)=2.49, p=0.02, 95% CI [−1.84, −18.79] and fluency, t(36)=2.40, p=0.02, 95% CI [−1.87, −22.24] domains being the main discriminating measures. The RBANS also discriminated between the two groups, and ARCS and RBANS total scores were moderately to strongly correlated. There was no difference between the two groups on the MMSE after controlling for demographic variables. ARCS performance was associated with employment status [χ2(1)=7.16, p=0.007].
The ARCS may be sensitive to the cognitive deficits in outpatients with schizophrenia and an indicator of functional outcomes in this population.
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