Loughland CM, Allen J, Gianacas L, Schofield PW, Lewin TJ, Hunter M, Carr VJ. Brief neuropsychological profiles in psychosis: a pilot study using the Audio Recorded Cognitive Screen (ARCS).
This pilot study examines the utility of a novel, standardised brief neuropsychological assessment tool (the ARCS, Audio Recorded Cognitive Screen) in a different clinical setting to that in which it was initially developed. We hypothesised that the ARCS would be feasible to administer to individuals with a psychotic illness and that it would detect cognitive deficits similar to those identified by an established instrument (the RBANS, Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status).
Twenty-five people with psychosis (mean age = 43.72, SD = 9.78) and 25 age- and gender-matched controls were recruited from the Newcastle community (NSW, Australia). The ARCS and RBANS were completed about 1 week apart in a counterbalanced order.
The ARCS was well received, performed satisfactorily and both the ARCS and RBANS were sensitive to deficits typically associated with psychosis (e.g. memory and attention). After controlling for memory deficits, the largest disparity between the psychosis and control groups was on the ARCS fluency domain [p < 0.001, partial Eta-squared (ηp2) = 0.21].
The ARCS uses audio administration (approximately 34 min) to reduce clinician time (to 3–5 min for scoring) and appears to be a useful brief assessment tool for examining the cognitive deficits associated with psychosis. However, the potential clinical utility of the ARCS needs to be investigated further in larger samples drawn from a wider variety of specialist and non-specialist settings.