Eastern Journal of Psychiatry

Register      Login

VOLUME 16 , ISSUE 1-2 ( February-August, 2013 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Executive Function Deficits in Patients with Schizophrenia

Neelam Kumari, Jai Prakash

Keywords : Executive Function, Schizophrenia, Activities of daily living

Citation Information : Kumari N, Prakash J. Executive Function Deficits in Patients with Schizophrenia. 2013; 16 (1-2):41-45.

DOI: 10.5005/EJP-16-1--2-41

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 13-10-2021

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2013; The Author(s).


Background: The cognitive dimension most widely studied in schizophrenia is executive function. Some of the specific abilities that fall under this rubric include abstraction, planning, mental flexibility, response inhibition, self monitoring, evaluation and decision making. There is strong evidence that neuropsychological impairment is related to deficits in everyday functioning abilities among persons with schizophrenia. Aim: The present study attempts to measure executive dysfunctions in patients with schizophrenia. Method: By using purposive sampling technique, 30 patients of schizophrenia were chosen according to ICD 10 DCR criteria alongwith a normal control group of 30 subjects. GHQ-12 was used as screening tool for normal control subjects and participants who scored below 2 were included in normal control group. Executive functioning was assessed among all the participants of experimental group as well as normal control group by using CTMT, WCST and Cognitive Symptoms Checklist (Executive Function Scale). Result: The schizophrenic patients demonstrated executive functioning deficits in comparison to normal control subjects on Comprehensive Trail Making Test as they took more time to complete all the trails and on Wisconsin Card Sorting Test as they produced lesser number of correct response, committed more errors, exhibited high number of perseverative responses, perseverative errors and non perseverative errors, low number of conceptual responses, took more trails to complete first category and were not able to maintain set. Impairment was also found on other domains of executive functioning related to activities of daily living like processing speed, initiation, sequencing, planning and reasoning. Conclusion: In comparison to normal participants, schizophrenia patients exhibited significant dysfunction in executive functioning and hence in activities of daily living.

PDF Share
  1. Bhatia, T., Garg, K., Geile, M. P., Nimgaonkar, V. L., & Deshpande, S.N. (2009). Executive functions and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia: Comparisons between probands, parents and controls in India. J PGM: 55, 1: 3-7.
  2. Chan, R.C.K., Chen, E.Y.H., Cheung, E.F.C., Chen, R.Y.L., Cheung, H.K. (2006a). The components of executive functioning in a cohort of patients with chronic schizophrenia: a multiple single-case study design. Schizophrenia Research. 81, 173-189.
  3. Chan, R.C.K., Chen, E.Y.H., Law, C.W., (2006b). Specific executive dysfunction in patients with first-episode medication-naïve schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research. 82, 51-64.
  4. Divya, P., Jai Prakash, & Singh, A. R. (2007). Neurocognitive Impairments in Schizophrenia. Industrial Psychiatry Journal, 16 (2): 112-115.
  5. Goldberg, D. & Williams, P. (1988). A users guide to the General Heal th Ques t ionnai re. Slough: NFER-Nelson.
  6. Heaton, R. K., Chelune, G. J., Talley, J. L., Kay, G. G., & Curtiss, G.C. (1981). Wisconsin Card Sorting Tes t Manual: Revi sed and Expanded. Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.
  7. Iampietro, M., Giovanneyyi, T., Drabick, D.A.G., & Kessler, R.K. (2012). Empirically defined patterns of executive function deficits in schizophrenia and their relation to everyday functioning: a Person Centered Approach. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 26 (7):1166-1185.
  8. Jai Prakash, Sengar, K. S., Singh, A., Sharma, R. G. & Banerjee, K. R. (2005). A comparative Study of Frontal Lobe Dysfunctions among Paranoid Schizophrenic Pat ient s, Non Paranoid Schizophrenic Patients and Normals. Indian Journal of Clinical Psychology, Vol. 32(1), 76-79.
  9. Lezak, M. D. (1987). Assessment for rehabilitation planning. Neuropsychological rehabilitation. London: Churchill Livingstone; 41–58.
  10. Krabbendam, L., de Vugt, M.E., Derix, M.M.A., Jolles, J., (1999). The behavioral assessment of the dysexecutive syndrome as a tool to assess executive functions in schizophrenia. Clinical Neuropsychoogy. 13, 370–375.
  11. Mahurin, R.K., Velligan, D.I., Miller, A.L., (1998). Executive-frontal lobe cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia: a symptom subtype analysis. Psychiatry Research. 79, 139–149.
  12. Mahurin, R.K., Velligan, D.I., Hazleton, B., Davis J.M., Eckert, S., & Miller, A.L. (2006). Trail Making Test Errors and Executive Function in Schizophrenia and Depression. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 20(2): 271-288.
  13. O'Hara, C., Harrell, M., Bellingrath, E., & Lisicia, K. (1993). Cognitive Symptoms Checklist: Clinician's guide. Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc, Florida.
  14. Pantelis, C., Barnes, T.R., Nelson, H.E., Tanner, S., Weatherley, L., Owen, A.M., Robbins, T.W., (1997). Frontal-striatal cognitive deficits in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Brain 120, 1823–1843.
  15. Raffard, S., Bayard, S. Nargeot, M.C.G., Capdevielle, D., Maggi, M., Barbotte, E., Morris, D., & Boulenger, J.P. (2009). Insight and executive functioning in schizophrenia: A multidimensional approach, Vol. 167(3) 239-250.
  16. Reynolds, C.R. (2002). Comprehensive Trail- Making Test: Examiner's Manual. Austin, TX: PRO-ED
  17. Sabhesan, S. & Parthasarathy, S. (2005). Executive functions in schizophrenia. Indian Journal of Psychiatry; 47: 21-6
  18. Semkovska, M., Bedard, Marc-Andre., Godbout, L., Limoge, F. & Stip, E. (2004). Assessment of executive dysfunction during activities of daily living in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, Vol. 69, (2), 289-300
  19. Taylor, S.F. (1996). Cerebral blood flow activation and functional lesions in schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Research, 19(2-3), 129-140.
  20. Tyson, P.J., Keith, R., Laws, K.R., Flowers, K.A., Mortimer, A. M., & Schulz, J. (2008). Attention and executive function in people with schizophrenia. Relationships with social skills and quality of life. International Journal of Psychiatry in Clinical Practice, Vol. 12, (2), 112-119.
  21. Wobrock, T., Ecker, U.K., Scherk, H., Schneider- Axmann, T., & Gruber, O. (2009). Cognitive impairment of executive function as a core symptom of schizophrenia. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 10(4 Pt 2):442-451.
  22. Wolwer, W. & Gaebel, W. (2002). Impaired Trail- Making Test-B performance in patients with acute schizophrenia is related to inefficient sequencing of planning and acting. Journal of Psychiatry Research, 36(6): 442-451.
  23. Wolwer, W. & Gaebel, W. (2003). Impaired visuomotor integration in acute schizophrenia. World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 4(3): 124–128.
  24. Wolwer, W., Falkai, P., Streit, M. & Gaebel, W. (2003). Trait characteristic of impaired visuomotor integration during Trail- Making B performance in schizophrenia. Neuropsychobiology. 48(2): 59-67.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.