Sensitivity and specificity of the UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA-B) for identifying functional milestones in schizophrenia

Schizophr Res. 2011 Nov;132(2-3):165-70. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2011.07.022. Epub 2011 Aug 16.


Schizophrenia is a highly debilitating illness that often results in disruption to independent living and employment. However, "gold standard" methods of assessing functional abilities to achieve these milestones are still lacking. In a sample of 367 individuals with schizophrenia, we examined the sensitivity and specificity of the Brief UCSD Performance-based Skills Assessment (UPSA-B) to predict both residential and employment status. Of all individuals residing independently, 75.9% scored 78 or above on the UPSA-B, and of all individuals not residing independently, 59% scored below 78 on the UPSA-B. Of individuals who were employed, 73.9% scored above 82 on the UPSA-B, and of those not employed, 57.8% scored below 82. These results expand upon both the population base and functional milestones with which the UPSA-B is validated, although future work should examine whether the UPSA-B can be used as a decision aid in the likelihood of success in a longitudinal study, such as at critical transitions (post-hospitalization, cessation of supported housing).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Employment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Schizophrenia / physiopathology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology*
  • Young Adult