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Cognitive impairment is common in people with mental disorders, leading to transdiagnostic classification based on cognitive characteristics. However, few studies have used this approach for intellectual abilities and functional outcomes.
The present study aimed to classify people with mental disorders based on intellectual abilities and functional outcomes in a data-driven manner.
Seven hundred and forty-nine patients diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression disorder or autism spectrum disorder and 1030 healthy control subjects were recruited from facilities in various regions of Japan. Two independent k-means cluster analyses were performed. First, intelligence variables (current estimated IQ, premorbid IQ, and IQ discrepancy) were included. Second, number of work hours per week was included instead of premorbid IQ.
Four clusters were identified in the two analyses. These clusters were specifically characterised in terms of IQ discrepancy in the first cluster analysis, whereas the work variable was the most salient feature in the second cluster analysis. Distributions of clinical diagnoses in the two cluster analyses showed that all diagnoses were unevenly represented across the clusters.
Intellectual abilities and work outcomes are effective classifiers in transdiagnostic approaches. The results of our study also suggest the importance of diagnosis-specific strategies to support functional recovery in people with mental disorders.
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