Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Reliability and Validity of the Malay Version of the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS): Preliminary Results

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

Reliability and Validity of the Malay Version of the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS): Preliminary Results

Article excerpt

Cognitive impairment is a core feature of s chizophrenia (Saykin et al., 1994; Mohamed et al., 1999). Ass essment of cognitive function is an important s tep in evaluating patients with s chizophrenia. Cognitive impairment also gives an impact on functional outcome (Green, 1996; Green et al., 2000) A few components of the cognition, especially verbal memory, working memory, motor s peed, attention, executive functions and verbal fluency are correlated with poor functional abilities. (Saykin et al., 1991; Keefe, 1995; Harvey and Keefe, 1997; Heinrichs and Zakzanis, 1998)

Many studies on the neurocognitive impact of the second generation of antipsychotic medications have been completed. While mos t of these studies have concluded that second generation antipsychotic improve neurocognitive function, the interpretation of these results has been challenged, because of the variable test batteries used in each s tudy (Harvey and Keefe, 2001). Current tes t batteries differ widely in content, duration and procedures. Most of the neurocognitive assessments batteries used are long and complex, mostly adapted from clinical neuropsychology tests which assess the entire profile of neuropsychological strengths and weaknesses in individuals. Long hours are often required to administer these batteries.

A number of test batteries are currently available for the purpose of brief cognitive as s ess ment. Several computerized batteries have been applied to schizophrenia samples, such as the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) (Robbins et al., 1996), the CDR Cognitive Assessment System (Hunter et al., 1997), and the CogTest Battery (Cogtest, 2002).Another option is the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) (Wilk et al., 2004; Gold et al., 1999). The RBANS is capable of providing reliable and valid assessments of patients with schizophrenia for a wide variety of cognitive functions (Gold et al., 1999; Hobart et al., 1999; Wilk et al., 2002) even though it was originally developed as a screening measure for elderly s ubjects and therefore, favours the evaluation of cognitive domains in more severely impaired patients, and leaves out important measures such as motor, executive and working memory tasks, which are important targets for cognitive enhancement in s chizophrenia.

The Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS) (Keefe et al., 2004) on the other hand, preserves the desirable features of the RBANS, but overcomes its limits, as it was specifically designed for use in s chizophrenia clinical trials . It meets all the required criteria such as brief adminis tration and s coring time, portability, repeatability and availability of alternate forms . The BACS has been validated in Englis h (Keefe et al., 2004), French (Bralet et al., 2007), German (Sachs et al., 2011), Spanish (Salgado et al., 2007), Japanese (Kaneda et al., 2007) and Italian (Anselmetti et al., 2008). It was designed as a short battery for detecting cognitive deficits in people with schizophrenia and measures verbal memory, working memory, verbal fluency, attention motor s peed, and problem s olving.

The BACS assesses the cognitive aspects that are most affected in these patients such as verbal memory (Verbal Memory List Learning), working memory (Digit Sequencing Task), speed of information processing (Symbol Coding), motor speed (Token Motor Task), executive functions (Tower of London) and verbal fluency (Category instances, supermarket items or animals, and the Controlled oral word association test, letters T and S). The reliability, validity and comparability of original forms of BACS have been established empirically (Keefe et al., 2004). The compos ite s core has a high tes t-retest reliability in patients with s chizophrenia and healthy controls (ICCs>.80). The composite score is strongly correlated to functional measures such as independent living skills (r+.45), performance -based assessments of performance of everyday living skills (r=. …

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