Objective and subjective cognitive functioning in relation to psychopathology among women with early psychosis

Alan C.Y. Tong, Wing Chung Chang, Angel N.Y. Chan, Jessie J. Lin (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) among early psychosis is under-recognized and under-studied. However, SCI is as important as objective impairment to be understood, since it assesses cognitive difficulties in real-life situations from a personal perspective and is therefore an essence of individualized medicine. This study aims to explore the associations between the objective and subjective measures of cognitive impairments and to identify factors contributing to SCI among people with early psychosis. Methods: Participants were 60 females (mean age 24.57 ± 8.28) who had a diagnosis of psychotic-spectrum disorder within 5 years. They completed a battery of neuropsychological tests assessing a range of cognitive functions including verbal learning, memory, attention, and executive functions. The Subjective Cognitive Impairment Scale (SCIS) was used to assess their perceived cognitive decline. Psychotic symptoms and depression were also assessed. Results: SCIS was not correlated with any of the objective cognitive tests results. It was positively correlated with depression and positive symptoms. A hierarchical multiple regression model revealed that positive symptoms and depression together explained 31.9% of the total variance in SCIS and only depression significantly predicted SCI. Performances on the memory tests were correlated with, and predicted by negative symptoms. Conclusions: There was no correlation between SCI and objective cognitive performances in patients with early psychosis. Treatments should not only focus on symptomatic remission and performance of cognitive tests, but also place emphasis on improving moods and subjective cognitive functions of individuals with early psychosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1227-1235
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Intervention in Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


  • depression
  • early psychosis
  • objective cognitive functioning
  • psychopathology
  • subjective cognitive impairments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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