The effect of verbalization strategy on wisconsin card sorting testperformance in schizophrenic patients receiving classical or atypical antipsychotics

Rossi, Alessandro; Daneluzzo, Enrico; Tomassini, Annarita; Struglia, Francesca; Cavallaro, Roberto; Smeraldi, Enrico; Stratta, Paolo
January 2006
BMC Psychiatry;2006, Vol. 6, p3
Academic Journal
Background: A number of reports showed en encouraging remediation in some patients' executive deficits thanks to the use of 'information processing strategies'. Moreover the impact of antipsychotics on cognitive functions of the schizophrenics is an important issue, especially if an integrated psychosocial treatment is needed. The aim of this paper is to evaluate different executive performance and response to verbalization, a strategy of the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) remediation, in subjects on classical vs atypical antipsychotic (AP) treatment. Methods: Sixty-three schizophrenic subjects undertook the WCST under standard and modified (verbalization) administration. Subjects were stratified by the kind of WCST response (i.e. good, poor and remediable) and AP treatment (i.e. atypical vs. classical). Results: Subjects on atypical APs showed a better performance than those on classical ones. More poor performers who did not remediate were seen in the sample with classical Aps while subjects who remediated the performance were seen in the subgroup with atypical APs only. An increase of perseverative and total errors was seen in poor performers subjects on classical APs. Conclusion: Subjects on atypicals showed a better cognitive pattern in terms of WCST performance. Since the naturalistic assignment of medication we cannot draw conclusions about its effect on cognitive performance and its interaction with cognitive remediation potential. However the data lead us to hypothesize that subjects with potential room for remediation did so with the atypical APs.


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