Understanding the relationship between apathy, cognition and functional outcome in schizophrenia: The significance of an ecological assessment

Daniela Ramos Mastache, Alejandra Mondragón-Maya*, Edith Liemburg, Stefanie Enriquez Geppert, Katharina Görlich, Mauricio Rosel-Vales, David Perez-Ferrera, Ashok S Jansari, Andre Aleman

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

14 Downloads (Pure)


In recent years there has been an increasing interest in understanding the role apathy plays in mediating the relationship between cognitive impairment and functional outcome. In general, most studies measure cognition with traditional cognitive tests that give explicit instructions and guide the participants toward generating a response. However, given that apathy is defined by a decrease in self-initiated behavior, it is crucial to evaluate cognition with ecological tasks that do not explicitly direct the patient´s motivation to generate behaviors to assess the actual effect. This study investigated whether an ecological cognitive assessment (the Jansari Executive Function Assessment, JEF©) would uniquely contribute to the relationship between cognition, apathy, and functional outcome in schizophrenia. The Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES), neuropsychological tests and the JEF© were administered to 20 patients with schizophrenia. Hierarchical multiple regression and mediation analysis were performed to test the associations between the variables of interest. Results showed that JEF© explained a significant portion of the variance in AES (25%). In addition, apathy explained 36% of the variance in functional outcome. However, AES did not mediate between cognition and functional outcome. Our results highlight the importance of assessing cognition with tasks that require integration of cognitive functions needed for real life demands.
Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's11
TijdschriftPLoS ONE
Nummer van het tijdschrift11
StatusPublished - 3-nov.-2022

Citeer dit