Objective: This study aimed to develop and validate a tablet mobile application version of the UCSD Performance-Based Skills Assessment (UPSA-M), a widely used test for assessing functional capacity in schizophrenia and other neurocognitively impaired patient populations.
Methods: The UPSA-M was developed for an iPad platform. Twenty-one middle-aged and older adults with schizophrenia and 13 healthy comparison (HC) participants completed a brief iPad tutorial, followed by the UPSA-M (full version, which includes all components of Brief UPSA-M) and a computer usage questionnaire. During a separate visit, patients with schizophrenia and HC participants completed the Brief UPSA (UPSA-B), and patients with schizophrenia completed a symptom inventory and brief neuropsychological screening battery.
Results: The UPSA-M was feasible for use among middle aged and older adults with schizophrenia with no prior history of tablet usage. The UPSA-M was able to differentiate between schizophrenia and HC participants 80% of the time, and this differential ability increased to 87% with the UPSA-M Brief. Traditional UPSA scores, UPSA-B scores, and neuropsychological performance were related to UPSA-M scores, whereas symptoms of psychopathology, experience with tablet technology, or difficulties operating the device were not significantly associated with UPSA-M.
Conclusions: The UPSA-M performed just as well as the standard-of-practice version. These preliminary results indicate that the UPSA-M Brief has greater sensitivity than the full version of the UPSA-M, and carries the advantage of a shorter administration time. Overall, the UPSA-M appears to be a promising mobile tool to assess functional capacity.
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