Schizophrenia and prospective memory impairments: a review

Y. Wang, R.C.K. Chan, Ho Keung David Shum

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Prospective memory (PM) is the ability to remember to carry out intended actions in the future. Prospective forgetting has been shown to be one of the key cognitive impairments that contribute to medication non-adherence, reduced independence, and social dysfunction in individuals with schizophrenia. This review aimed to provide an up to date appraisal of the nature and extent of PM impairments in individuals with schizophrenia and those who are at risk and to discuss clinical applications in this area. Method: We searched and reviewed relevant studies in this area between 2013 and August 2017. Results: Findings of studies conducted so far indicate that PM is severely impaired in schizophrenia. The most frequent type of PM errors in individuals with schizophrenia is no response, or failure to carry out the intended action. PM impairments in schizophrenia have been found to be related to everyday functioning. For individuals with schizophrenia, a number of assessment techniques have been developed to assess PM. These include: self-report questionnaires, computerized tasks, psychometric test batteries, and virtual reality tasks. So far, a few studies have used the compensatory approach to improve PM performance in individuals with schizophrenia and those who are at risk, and the results reported are promising. Based on findings of these studies, suggestions for the development of interventions for PM impairments in individuals with schizophrenia are provided. Conclusions: PM dysfunction is an important impairment in individuals with schizophrenia, and more rehabilitation studies to improve PM performance in these individuals are needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-857
Number of pages22
JournalClinical Neuropsychologist
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Prospective memory
  • review
  • schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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