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Keywords:

  • cognitive impairment;
  • cross-national difference;
  • functional outcome;
  • schizophrenia;
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III

Aim

Patients with schizophrenia have been reported to perform worse than non-schizophrenic populations on neuropsychological tests, which may be affected by cultural factors. The aim of this study was to examine the performance of a sizable number of patients with schizophrenia on the Japanese version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III) compared with healthy controls.

Methods

Performance on the WAIS-III was evaluated in 157 Japanese patients with schizophrenia and in 264 healthy control subjects.

Results

All IQ scores and four indices from the WAIS-III were impaired for patients with schizophrenia compared with healthy controls. Processing Speed was markedly disturbed, approximately 2 SD below that of the healthy control group. Among the 13 subtests, Comprehension (z = −1.70, d = 1.55), Digit Symbol Coding (z = −1.84, d = 1.88), and Symbol Search (z = −1.85, d = 1.77) were profoundly impaired relative to the healthy controls.

Conclusion

These results indicate that the pattern and degree of impairment, as evaluated by the WAIS-III, in Japanese patients are similar to those previously reported in English-speaking patients and that the deficits of some neuropsychological domains relevant to functional outcomes are universally characteristic of schizophrenia.