Preliminary examination of the validity of the NIH toolbox cognition battery in treatment-resistant psychosis

Clin Neuropsychol. 2020 Jul;34(5):981-1003. doi: 10.1080/13854046.2019.1694072. Epub 2019 Nov 29.


Objective: Prior research has suggested that treatment-resistant psychosis (TRP) may be a categorically distinct subtype from treatment-responsive psychotic disorders. However, relatively few studies have investigated the cognitive profile of individuals with TRP. Moreover, no prior studies have investigated the effectiveness of using the NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (NTCB) for assessing cognition among psychiatric inpatients despite its promising efficiency and practicality in such settings. The current study aimed to investigate the validity of the NTCB and the associated cognitive profile of inpatients with TRP.Methods: Participants (N = 38) were administered the NTCB and a neuropsychological test battery. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale and the Routine Assessment of Patient Progress measured psychosis symptomatology and daily functioning, respectively.Results: Results showed deficits relative to normative values in fluid cognitive abilities using the NTCB, as predicted. There was strong convergent validity and adequate divergent validity between the NTCB subtests and corresponding neuropsychological measures, though no NTCB subtest correlated with performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task. NTCB performance correlated with positive and disorganized symptoms of psychosis as well as daily functioning.Conclusions: Taken together, the NTCB appears to be a relatively strong tool for cognitive screening among psychiatric inpatients and may be used to identify which patients might benefit from further neuropsychological evaluation.

Keywords: NIH Toolbox; assessment; cognition; psychosis; schizophrenia; treatment-resistant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • National Institutes of Health (U.S.)
  • Neuropsychological Tests / standards*
  • Psychotic Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • United States
  • Young Adult