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The Association Between Cognitive Functioning and Occupational Status in Persons With a Recent Onset of Psychosis

Dickerson, Faith B. PhD, MPH*; Stallings, Cassie RNC, MA*; Origoni, Andrea BA*; Boronow, John J. MD*; Sullens, Anne MA*; Yolken, Robert MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: July 2007 - Volume 195 - Issue 7 - p 566-571
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318093ed46
Original Article

The ability to engage in occupational activity is an important aspect of functioning in individuals with recent onset psychosis. We measured the determinants of occupational status in a sample of n = 86 adults with a recent onset of affective or nonaffective psychosis. Participants were evaluated with the Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Status, the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, symptom rating scales, and other clinical and demographic measures. Results of a discriminant function analysis indicated that the most significant differences between those who worked or attended school and those who did not could be attributed to better immediate verbal memory (F = 13.16, p < .0005) and the absence of substance abuse (F = 5.17, p = .026). Occupational activity was not significantly associated with age, gender, race, or symptom severity in this population. Cognitive assessments may prove useful to identify recent onset patients who are most at risk for occupational impairment and who could most benefit from therapeutic interventions.

*Stanley Research Program, Sheppard Pratt Health System, Baltimore, Maryland; and †Stanley Neurovirology Laboratory, Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Supported by the Stanley Medical Research Institute.

Send reprint requests to Faith B. Dickerson, PhD, MPH, Sheppard Pratt, 6501 North Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21204. E-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.