Global functioning among middle-aged patients with chronic schizophrenia: the role of medication, working memory and verbal comprehension

  • Maria Ruiz-Iriondo BIODONOSTIA Health Research Institute University of Basque Country
  • Karmele Salaberria UPV/EHU
  • Enrique Echeburua UPV/EHU
  • Alvaro Iruin Guipúzcoa Mental Health Network. Basque Health Service-Osakidetza
  • Olga Gabaldón Poc Guipúzcoa Mental Health Network. Basque Health Service-Osakidetza
  • Idoia Fernández Marañón Guipúzcoa Mental Health Network.Basque Health Service-Osakidetza
Keywords: Chronic schizophrenia, Age, Clinical features, Assessment, Functioning, Adaptation to illness


The chronic phase of schizophrenia is characterized by illness progression and patients encountering difficulties to return to premorbid level of functioning. The objective of this study was to describe the characteristics of a sample of patients with chronic schizophrenia, as well to assess differences between patients under and over 45 years of age. In a clinical sample of 77 chronic schizophrenia patients, we assessed basic symptoms, cognitive performance, social functioning and quality of life. All participants obtained very high scores in residual symptoms, and no differences in sociodemographic or clinical characteristics between the age groups were found. Younger patients had better cognitive performance and older patients obtained better scores for social functioning and quality of life. Number of psychotropic drugs, verbal learning delayed of SCIP, errors in WCST, Similarities and Digit Symbol Coding of WAIS were the most important variables to predict global functioning of patients over 45 years old. Increasing our understanding of differences in characteristics of the chronic phase of the illness and the profile of functioning at different ages, may help us design intervention strategies to improve adaptation in young and middle-aged patients with chronic schizophrenia.


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Author Biographies

Maria Ruiz-Iriondo, BIODONOSTIA Health Research Institute University of Basque Country
Postdoctoral Researcher. Neuroscience department. ISS BIODONOSTIA
Karmele Salaberria, UPV/EHU
Profesora Titular. Facultad de Psicologia. UPV/EHU.
Enrique Echeburua, UPV/EHU
Catedrático de Psicología Clínica. UPV/EHU
Alvaro Iruin, Guipúzcoa Mental Health Network. Basque Health Service-Osakidetza
CEO, Guipúzcoa Mental Health Network.
Olga Gabaldón Poc, Guipúzcoa Mental Health Network. Basque Health Service-Osakidetza
Clinical Psychologist. Guipúzcoa Mental Health Network.
Idoia Fernández Marañón, Guipúzcoa Mental Health Network.Basque Health Service-Osakidetza
Clinical Psychologist. Guipúzcoa Mental Health Network


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How to Cite
Ruiz-Iriondo, M., Salaberria, K., Echeburua, E., Iruin, A., Gabaldón Poc, O., & Fernández Marañón, I. (2019). Global functioning among middle-aged patients with chronic schizophrenia: the role of medication, working memory and verbal comprehension. Anales De Psicología / Annals of Psychology, 35(2), 204-213.
Clinical and Health Psychology