Stability of executive functions in first episode psychosis: One year follow up study
Executive functioning is a multi-dimensional construct covering several sub-processes.
The aim of this study was to determine whether executive functions, indexed by a broad range of executive measures remain stable in first episode psychosis (FEP) over time. Eighty-two patients and 107 age and gender matched healthy controls were assessed on five subdomains of executive functioning; working memory, fluency, flexibility, and inhibitory control at baseline and at 1 year follow-up. Results showed that patients performed significantly poorer than controls on all executive measures at both assessment points. In general executive functions remained stable from baseline to follow-up, although both groups improved on measures of inhibitory control and flexibility. In phonemic fluency, controls showed a slight improvement while patients showed a slight decline. Investigation of individual trajectories revealed some fluctuations in both groups over time, but mainly supports the group level findings. The implications of these results are discussed.
Psychiatry Research, 2015, 228 (3), 475-81