To cut a short test even shorter: Reliability and validity of a brief assessment of intellectual ability in Schizophrenia - A control-case family study

Eva Velthorst, Stephen Z. Levine, Cecile Henquet, Lieuwe De Haan, Jim Van Os, Inez Myin-Germeys, Abraham Reichenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background.The potential inclusion of cognitive assessments in the DSM-V and large time-consuming assessments drive a need for short tests of cognitive impairments. We examined the reliability and validity of a brief, 15-minute, version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III (WAIS-III).Methods.The sample consisted of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (n=75), their siblings without schizophrenia (n=74) and unrelated healthy controls (n=84). A short WAIS-III consists of the Digit Symbol Coding subtest, and every second (or third) item of Block Design, Information, and Arithmetic. Psychometric analyses were implemented using item-response theory (IRT) to determine the best minimal item short version, while maintaining the sensitivity and reliability of the IQ score.Results.The proposed 15-minute WAIS-III gave reliable estimates of the Full Scale IQ (FSIQ) in all three groups in the sample. The 15-minute (select-item) version yielded an overall R of.95 (R2=.92) and IRT yielded an R of.96 (R2=.92). All four subtests performed well in differentiating patients, relatives, and healthy controls. Multivariate analysis showed a significant difference in FSIQ-estimate between patients, relatives, and healthy controls, F(2, 202) = 19.00, p <.0001. Regression modelling showed that the three versions of the WAIS had similar associations with functional outcome after a 3-year follow-up.Conclusions.Our proposed 15-minute version of the WAIS may serve as a useful screening device for general intellectual ability in research or clinical settings, and is recommended when a quick and accurate IQ estimate is desired.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-593
Number of pages20
JournalCognitive Neuropsychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
EU-GEI is the acronym of the project ‘‘European network of National Schizophrenia Networks Studying Gene-Environment Interactions’’. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement No. HEALTH-F2-2010-241909 (Project EU-GEI).

Funding Information:
The infrastructure for the GROUP study is funded by grant 10-000-1002 from the Geestkracht programme of the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) and matching funds from participating universities and mental health care organisations (Site Amsterdam: Academic Psychiatric Centre AMC, Ingeest, Arkin, Dijk en Duin, Rivierduinen, Erasmus MC, GGZ Noord Holland Noord; Site Utrecht: University Medical Centre Utrecht, Altrecht, Symfora, Meerkanten, Riagg Amersfoort, Delta; Site Groningen: University Medical Center Groningen, Lentis, GGZ Friesland, GGZ Drenthe, Dimence, Mediant, GGZ De Grote Rivieren, and Parnassia Psychomedical Centre; Site Maastricht: Maastricht University Medical Center, GGZ Eindhoven, GGZ Midden-Brabant, GGZ Oost-Brabant, GGZ Noord-Midden Limburg, Mondriaan Zorggroep, Prins Clauscentrum Sittard, RIAGG Roermond, Universitair Centrum Sint-Jozef Kortenberg, CAPRI University of Antwerp, PC Ziekeren Sint-Truiden, PZ Sancta Maria Sint-Truiden, GGZ Overpelt, OPZ Rekem). The GROUP analyses were supported by unrestricted grants from Janssen-Cilag, Eli Lilly & Co., AstraZeneca, and Lundbeck.


  • Cognitive functioning
  • Item response theory.
  • Psychometrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'To cut a short test even shorter: Reliability and validity of a brief assessment of intellectual ability in Schizophrenia - A control-case family study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this