Do symptoms moderate the association between participation and executive function outcomes among people with schizophrenia?

Alona Kaizerman-Dinerman, David Roe, Naor Demeter, Naomi Josman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Literature explains participation limitations among people with schizophrenia through the context of metacognitive limitations, specifically in symptoms and in executive functions (EF). Research has shown mixed results regarding associations between symptoms and participation, reporting association with negative symptoms, positive symptoms, or only metacognitive limitations. The aim of this study was to deepen understanding of the symptoms’ impact on participation among people with schizophrenia.

Methods: Forty-three participants with schizophrenia received 8 group sessions of focused metacognitive intervention (MCG) aimed at promoting participation by focusing on EF components (e.g., analyzing individual cognitive strategy use). Three measures were administered: the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) to evaluate symptoms, the Weekly Calendar Planning Assessment (WCPA) to assess EF, and the Activity Card Sort (ACS) to measure participation at the baseline and 12 weeks following completion of the intervention. Scores were compared to a matched control group of 41 people with schizophrenia who instead received treatment as usual. The role of PANSS as moderator was examined using multiple hierarchical regressions, entering interactions between the PANSS scores and WCPA change scores in the final regression step.

Results: Relationships were not significant for participants with high PANSS scores. A positive relationship existed between change in WCPA and change in ACS for participants with low PANSS scores.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that low PANSS scores moderate the association between EF and participation and highlight the importance of symptoms as a predictor of participation following the MCG intervention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBMC Psychiatry
StatePublished - 2022


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