UBC Theses and Dissertations
Hospitalized and released schizophrenic and nonpsychiatric subjects’ performance on measures of thought disorder Klinka, Jan
An attempt was made to separate the effects of length of illness from the effects of length of hospitalization on the vocabulary and concept formation performance of chronic schizophrenic and chronic nonpsychiatric patients. Groups of these patients approximately matched for length of illness, but which differed in terms of total time spent in institutions (several years vs. a few months) were compared on the Rattan and Chapman vocabulary test that includes associative distractors and on several concept formation measures derived by Harrow et al. from the Object Sorting Test. The schizophrenic inpatients and outpatients (all under antipsychotic medication) were further subdivided into paranoid and nonparanoid subgroups and equated on severity of current disturbance. A total of 90 patients served as subjects. The results indicated that nonparanoid schizophrenics show the most deficits on the measures used in the study (particularly associative intrusions and idiosyncratic thinking), while paranoid schizophrenics performed at levels that were comparable to the performance of the chronic nonpsychiatric patients. It was also found that associative intrusions and idiosyncratic thinking were the measures that provided the best discrimination between patients with prolonged as opposed to short institutionalization. It was concluded that neither length of illness nor length of institutionalization by itself accounts for the cognitive deficits found in this study. Rather, such effects depend on the particular subtypes of schizophrenic patients, the particular indices of thought deficits, and the particular measuring instruments.
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