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Little is known about the determinants of community integration (i.e. recovery) for individuals with a history of homelessness, yet such information is essential to develop targeted interventions.
We recruited homeless Veterans with a history of psychotic disorders and evaluated four domains of correlates of community integration: perception, non-social cognition, social cognition, and motivation. Baseline assessments occurred after participants were engaged in supported housing services but before they received housing, and again after 12 months. Ninety-five homeless Veterans with a history of psychosis were assessed at baseline and 53 returned after 12 months. We examined both cross-sectional and longitudinal relationships with 12-month community integration.
The strongest longitudinal association was between a baseline motivational measure and social integration at 12 months. We also observed cross-sectional associations at baseline between motivational measures and community integration, including social, work, and independent living. Cross-lagged panel analyses did not suggest causal associations for the motivational measures. Correlations with perception and non-social cognition were weak. One social cognition measure showed a significant longitudinal correlation with independent living at 12 months that was significant for cross-lagged analysis, consistent with a causal relationship and potential treatment target.
The relatively selective associations for motivational measures differ from what is typically seen in psychosis, in which all domains are associated with community integration. These findings are presented along with a partner paper (Study 2) to compare findings from this study to an independent sample without a history of psychotic disorders to evaluate the consistency in findings regarding community integration across projects.
In an initial study (Study 1), we found that motivation predicted community integration (i.e. functional recovery) 12 months after receiving housing in formerly homeless Veterans with a psychotic disorder. The current study examined whether the same pattern would be found in a broader, more clinically diverse, homeless Veteran sample without psychosis.
We examined four categories of variables as potential predictors of community integration in non-psychotic Veterans: perception, non-social cognition, social cognition, and motivation at baseline (after participants were engaged in a permanent supported housing program but before receiving housing) and a 12-month follow-up. A total of 82 Veterans had a baseline assessment and 41 returned for testing after 12 months.
The strongest longitudinal association was between an interview-based measure of motivation (the motivation and pleasure subscale from the Clinical Assessment Interview for Negative Symptoms) at baseline and measures of social integration at 12 months. In addition, cross-lagged panel analyses were consistent with a causal influence of general psychiatric symptoms at baseline driving social integration at 12 months, and reduced expressiveness at baseline driving independent living at 12 months, but there were no significant causal associations with measures of motivation.
The findings from this study complement and reinforce those in Veterans with psychosis. Across these two studies, our findings suggest that motivational factors are associated at baseline and at 12 months and are particularly important for understanding and improving community integration in recently-housed Veterans across psychiatric diagnoses.
The aggregation of neurocognitive deficits among the non-psychotic first-degree relatives of adult- and childhood-onset schizophrenia patients suggests that there may be a common etiology for these deficits in childhood- and adult-onset illness. However, there is considerable heterogeneity in the presentation of neurobiological abnormalities, and whether there are differences in the extent of familial transmission for specific domains of cognitive function has not been systematically addressed.
We employed variance components analysis, as implemented in SOLAR-Eclipse, to evaluate the evidence of familial transmission for empirically derived composite scores representing attention, working memory, verbal learning, verbal retention, and memory for faces. We contrast estimates for adult- and childhood-onset schizophrenia families and matched community control pedigrees, and compare our findings to previous reports based on analogous neurocognitive assessments.
We observed varying degrees of familial transmission; attention and working memory yielded comparable, significant estimates for adult-onset and community control pedigrees; verbal learning was significant for childhood-onset and community control pedigrees; and facial memory demonstrated significant familial transmission only for childhood-onset schizophrenia. Model-fitting analyses indicated significant differences in familiality between adult- and childhood-onset schizophrenia for attention, working memory, and verbal learning.
By comprehensively assessing a wide range of neurocognitive domains in adult- and childhood-onset schizophrenia families, we provide additional support for specific neurocognitive domains as schizophrenia endophenotypes. Whereas comparable estimates of familial transmission for certain dimensions of cognitive functioning support a shared etiology of adult- and childhood-onset neurocognitive function, observed differences may be taken as preliminary evidence of partially divergent multifactorial architectures.
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