Time-based but not event-based prospective memory remains impaired one year after the onset of schizophrenia: A prospective study

E.F.C. Cheung, S.S.Y. Lui, Y. Wang, T.-X. Yang, Ho Keung David Shum, R.C.K. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015 Elsevier B.V. Background: Prospective memory (PM) deficits have been consistently found in people with schizophrenia. Although there is evidence to suggest that PM deficits may be putative markers for schizophrenia, no longitudinal study has investigated the persistence of PM deficits. Aims: We examined whether PM deficits persist after the onset of schizophrenia, and compared the trajectories of time- and event-based PM performance 12. months after illness onset. We also examined whether the association between PM and clinical symptoms changes over time 12. months after illness onset. Method: We recruited 58 individuals with first-episode schizophrenia for a 12-month follow-up study. Comparison participants were 37 healthy individuals who were matched in terms of demographics and intelligence with the patient group. PM functions and clinical symptoms were measured at baseline, the sixth month, and the twelfth month, using a computerized PM task and the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale. Results: People with schizophrenia showed a gradual improvement in both time- and event-based PM 12. months after illness onset. However, compared to event-based PM, deficit in time-based PM persisted and was relatively stable. At baseline, PM functions were not associated with clinical symptoms. However, an association between time-based PM and PANSS positive and general symptoms emerged 12. months after the onset of schizophrenia. Conclusion: People with first-episode schizophrenia exhibit persistent time-based PM deficit. Our findings support that PM deficit, in particular, time-based deficit, may be a putative neuropsychological marker of schizophrenia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • First-episode
  • Longitudinal stability
  • Prospective memory
  • Schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


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