Correlates of change in functional status of institutionalized geriatric schizophrenic patients: Focus on medical comorbidity

Joseph I. Friedman, Philip D. Harvey, Susan R. McGurk, Leonard White, Michael Parrella, Tenko Raykov, Thomas Coleman, David N. Adler, Kenneth L. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Impairment in basic self-care skills is common in patients with schizophrenia and is even more severe in elderly patients with a chronic course of institutional care. While cognitive impairment has proven to be a major predictor of overall functional deficit in schizophrenia, other potential factors, such as medical comorbidity, need to be considered. Method: Geriatric institutionalized schizophrenic patients (N=124) were assessed three times over 4 years to determine levels of positive and negative symptoms, impairment in activities of daily living, impairment in cognitive functioning, and medical problems. Path analysis was used to determine which variables best predicted changes in self-care functions. Results: Functional status, negative symptoms, cognitive functions, and health status all significantly worsened during the follow-up. The path analyses showed that change in health status did not predict change in activities of daily living after the analysis accounted for negative symptoms and cognitive functions. Discussion: The results highlight the relative importance of cognitive impairments in the functional impairments of older schizophrenic patients with increased medical burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1388-1394
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume159
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 12 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Friedman, J. I., Harvey, P. D., McGurk, S. R., White, L., Parrella, M., Raykov, T., Coleman, T., Adler, D. N., & Davis, K. L. (2002). Correlates of change in functional status of institutionalized geriatric schizophrenic patients: Focus on medical comorbidity. American Journal of Psychiatry, 159(8), 1388-1394. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.159.8.1388