Schizophr Res 2019 06 4;208:250-257. Epub 2019 Feb 4.
Department of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota, United States of America.
Cognitive impairment in schizophrenia is often severe, enduring, and contributes significantly to chronic disability. A standardized platform for identifying cognitive impairments and measuring treatment effects in cognition is a critical aspect of comprehensive evaluation and treatment for individuals with schizophrenia. In this project, we developed and tested a suite of ten web-based, neuroscience-informed cognitive assessments that are designed to enable the interpretation of specific deficits that could signal that an individual is experiencing cognitive difficulties. The assessment suite assays speed of processing, sustained attention, executive functioning, learning and socio-affective processing in the auditory and visual modalities. We have obtained data from 283 healthy individuals who were recruited online and 104 individuals with schizophrenia who also completed formal neuropsychological testing. Our data show that the assessments 1) are acceptable and tolerable to users, with successful completion in an average of under 40 min; 2) reliably measure the distinct theoretical cognitive constructs they were designed to assess; 3) can discriminate schizophrenia patients from healthy controls with a fair degree of accuracy (AUROC > 0.70); and 4) have promising construct, convergent, and external validity. Further optimization and validation work is in progress to finalize the evaluation process prior to promoting the dissemination of these assessments in real-world settings.