COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Repeatable battery for the assessment of neuropsychological status as a screening test in schizophrenia, II: convergent/discriminant validity and diagnostic group comparisons

M P Hobart, R Goldberg, J J Bartko, J M Gold
American Journal of Psychiatry 1999, 156 (12): 1951-7
10588410

OBJECTIVE: In a companion article in this issue of the Journal, the authors presented data suggesting that the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) is sensitive to the types of impairments observed in schizophrenia, correlates highly with standard measures of intelligence and memory, and is related to employment status in a group of patients with schizophrenia drawn from a tertiary care research center. The objectives of the current study were 1) to determine if evidence of the convergent validity of the RBANS could be replicated in a diagnostically heterogeneous sample drawn from a public mental health system, 2) to examine the relationship of the RBANS to a broad neuropsychological battery, and 3) to compare the performance of patients with schizophrenia and patients with bipolar disorder on a neuropsychological battery and the RBANS.

METHOD: The RBANS and a standard neuropsychological battery, including the WAIS-III and Wechsler Memory Scale, 3rd ed. (WMS-III), were given to 150 patients drawn from a larger study of vocational rehabilitation.

RESULTS: Correlations of RBANS total scores with WAIS-III and WMS-III variables were highly similar across study groups. The RBANS correlated highly with a composite z score derived from 22 standard measures of IQ, memory, language, motor, attention, and executive function. Principal component analyses of the neuropsychological battery resulted in a six-factor solution: the RBANS correlated most highly with a general ability factor and had limited correlations with measures of motor performance, vigilance, and executive function. Patients with schizophrenia demonstrated greater deficits on the neuropsychological battery and the RBANS than patients with bipolar disorder.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that the RBANS is a useful screening instrument for assessing the severity of cognitive impairment in psychiatric populations.

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