Effect of organizational strategy on visual memory in patients with schizophrenia


*Myung-Sun Kim, PhD, Department of Psychology, Sungshin Women's University, 3 Dongsun, Sungbuk, Seoul 136-742, Korea, Email: kimms@sungshin.ac.kr


Aims:  The aim of the present study was to examine how copy organization mediated immediate recall among patients with schizophrenia using the Rey–Osterrieth Complex Figure Test (ROCF).

Methods:  The Boston Qualitative Scoring System (BQSS) was applied for qualitative and quantitative analyses of ROCF performances. Subjects included 20 patients with schizophrenia and 20 age- and gender-matched healthy controls.

Results:  During the copy condition, the schizophrenia group and the control group differed in fragmentation; during the immediate recall condition, the two groups differed in configural presence and planning; and during the delayed recall condition, they differed in several qualitative measurements, including configural presence, cluster presence/placement, detail presence/placement, fragmentation, planning, and neatness. The two groups also differed in several quantitative measurements, including immediate presence and accuracy, immediate retention, delayed retention, and organization. Although organizational strategies used during the copy condition mediated the difference between the two groups during the immediate recall condition, group also had a significant direct effect on immediate recall.

Conclusion:  Schizophrenia patients are deficient in visual memory, and a piecemeal approach to the figure and organizational deficit seem to be related to the visual memory deficit. But schizophrenia patients also appeared to have some memory problems, including retention and/or retrieval deficits.