Cognitive impairment in geriatric chronic schizophrenic patients: a cross-national study in New York and London

Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 1997 Oct;12(10):1001-7. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1099-1166(199710)12:10<1001::aid-gps674>;2-0.


Severe cognitive impairment has been reported in large numbers of geriatric chronic schizophrenic patients in the US, with this impairment also being related to severe negative symptoms and adaptive deficits. It is not clear if this impairment is related to the particular environment of the American state hospitals and would not generalize to other countries. In this study, a sample composed of geriatric (age > 70) chronic schizophrenic patients in London, who were assessed by the Team for Assessment of Psychiatric Services (TAPS) (N = 137), and a group of geriatric chronic schizophrenic patients in a New York psychiatric center (N = 86) were compared for the severity of cognitive impairment and on measures of adaptive functioning. Patients received essentially identical Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores, but differed on 3/4 measures of adaptive functioning. The correlations among all four aspects of adaptive deficit and MMSE scores were very similar in the two samples, suggesting that cognitive deficits and their relationship with adaptive impairments are relatively invariant across different psychiatric systems of care, while adaptive functioning deficits are more variable and possibly more influenced by environmental factors. These data add to previous results suggesting that cognitive impairment is a common feature in poor outcome geriatric patients with schizophrenia.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chronic Disease
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / epidemiology*
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Humans
  • London / epidemiology
  • Mental Status Schedule
  • New York / epidemiology
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Schizophrenia / diagnosis
  • Schizophrenia / epidemiology*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Urban Population / statistics & numerical data*