Validation of a Computerized test of Functional Capacity

Richard S.E. Keefe, Vicki G. Davis, Alexandra S. Atkins, Adam Vaughan, Tom Patterson, Meera Narasimhan, Philip D. Harvey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Regulatory guidance for schizophrenia cognition clinical trials requires that the assessment of cognitive change is accompanied by a functionally meaningful endpoint. However, currently available measures are challenged by resistance to change, psychometric weaknesses, and for interview-based assessments, dependence upon the presence of an informant. The aims of the current study were to: 1) assess the validity, sensitivity, and reliability of the Virtual Reality Functional Capacity Assessment Tool (VRFCAT) as a measure of functional capacity; 2) determine the association between performance on the VRFCAT and performance on the MATRICS Consensus Cognitive Battery (MCCB); and 3) compare the metrics of the VRFCAT with the UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA). 167 patients with schizophrenia and 166 healthy controls completed the VRFCAT, UPSA, and the MCCB at baseline. The VRFCAT and UPSA were completed again at follow-up. The VRFCAT, MCCB, and UPSA were very sensitive to impairment in schizophrenia (d = 1.16 to 1.22). High test-retest reliability was demonstrated for VRFCAT total completion time and the UPSA total score in patients (ICC = 0.81 and 0.78, respectively). The UPSA demonstrated significant practice effects in patients (d = 0.35), while the VRFCAT did not (d = − 0.04). VRFCAT total completion time was correlated with both UPSA (r = − 0.56, p < 0.0001 for patients and − 0.58, p < 0.0001 for controls) and MCCB Composite (r = − 0.57, p < 0.0001 for patients and − 0.68, p < 0.0001 for controls). The VRFCAT is a highly reliable and sensitive measure of functional capacity with associations to the UPSA and MCCB. These results provide encouraging support for a computerized functional capacity assessment for use in schizophrenia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-96
Number of pages7
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Cognition
  • Computerized testing
  • Everyday functioning
  • Functional capacity
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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