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MET AND UNMET NEEDS OF PATIENTS WITH SCHIZOPHRENIA – BRIEF RESEARCH REPORT OF A ROMANIAN SAMPLE

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The objective of the study was to translate and adapt the Romanian version of the Camberwell Assessment of Needs, and to assess its inter-rater reliability in a sample of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia. Fifty-eight schizophrenic patients were assessed using the 22 domains of the Romanian version of the Camberwell Assessment of Needs. The kappa coefficient was used to assess inter-rater reliability. For 21 domains the inter-rater reliability was almost perfect to total (range: 0.86 to 1.0). The domain with the lowest agreement was companionship. The inter-rater reliability of the Camberwell Assessment of Needs was similar to what has been found in previous studies. The use of standardized instruments to assess needs of care in Romania will contribute to the assessment of the effectiveness of treatment and to the planning of individualized care for individuals with mental illnesses.

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VERBAL, VISUOSPATIAL AND FACE WORKING MEMORY IMPAIRMENT IN MULTIPLE EPISODE SCHIZOPHRENIA PATIENTS

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Memory impairment has been acknowledged as a core cognitive deficit in schizophrenia, and it is present irrespective of specific features related to the patient or the evolution of the disorder. It is suggested that distinct functional subsystems of memory are differently impaired in these patients, hence the broad range of levels of functioning affected in this specific population. The aim of this study was to assess working memory performance in multiple episode schizophrenia patients. A group of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia and a control group of healthy subjects were comparatively evaluated with 3 neurocognitive tests which require the use of working memory subsystems. Our results indicate significantly poorer performance in the case of patients suffering from schizophrenia, in all three working memory tests – they displayed impaired face recognition abilities and used a significantly higher number of non-list words when asked to repeat a list of words, which may be particularly relevant for their social functioning. The neurobiological and genetic background of the memory impairment in schizophrenia have been acknowledged due to increasing body of evidence, and the current study supports the current data which state that working memory deficits in schizophrenia are consistent, stable and comprehensive. This is particularly relevant for the personal management, and also for the academic, interpersonal and social rehabilitation of schizophrenia patients.

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Semantic fluency in schizophrenia

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Background: Patients with schizophrenia exhibit various cognitive dysfunctions, most of them rendered evident by language.
Objectives: The aims of the current study are: to compare the global semantic performance of schizophrenics with those of normal controls and to explore the schizophrenics’ semantic network.
Method: 62 schizophrenic patients, admitted to the Second Psychiatric Clinic, diagnosed according to ICD-10 criteria and 158 healthy controls were evaluated with tasks for semantic fluency (animals, fruits, and body parts).
Statistical analysis: The correlation between clinical symptoms, demographic data and the verbal fluency variables has been determined using Pearson’s correlations. Data were analysed using ANOVA and for semantic fluency this was followed by multidimensional scaling (MDS).
Results: Patients with schizophrenia generated fewer words than healthy controls on semantic fluency tasks. The MDS analysis showed that the semantic structure for schizophrenics with hallucinations was more disorganized than that for schizophrenics without hallucinations. The study emphasized in the later subgroup a lack of any organisation or logical associations within their semantic network of animals, fruits or body parts.
Conclusions: The comparison between schizophrenia patients and normal controls indicated impaired semantic structure in the patient group, in addition to decreased word production.

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