Exploring cognitive complaints in schizophrenia: the subjective scale to investigate cognition in schizophrenia.Compr Psychiatry. 2003 Jul-Aug; 44(4):331-40.CP
While it has become commonplace to test the various components of memory in schizophrenia with paper-and-pencil or in-lab tasks, very little data exist on the subjective complaints of patients regarding their memory. Few instruments have been designed to collect systematically the complaints of patients with schizophrenia. We present a work in progress on the Subjective Scale to Investigate Cognition in Schizophrenia (SSTICS), a 21-item, Likert-type scale that is simple and easy to use. It allows a quantitative approach to the subjective and cognitive dimensions of schizophrenia. Stip constructed the scale based on a questionnaire covering several cognitive domains: memory (working memory, explicit long-term memory), attention (divided, distractibility, alertness, sustained), language, and praxia. We evaluated the psychometric properties of the SSTICS in a population of 114 French-speaking patients in Montreal. Patients were recruited in the community and assessed with the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-III-R (SCID), the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS), and the Extrapyramidal Symptoms Rating Scale (ESRS). Cognition was measured using the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) (long-term memory), Controlled Oral Word Association Test (verbal fluency), and Trails A and B. Preliminary analyses showed very good internal consistency for the global score (alpha=0.88), and alphas varying from 0.57 to 0.72 for the subscales. Stability over time was very good. The principal components analysis accounted for a multiple structure. Correlations between subjective scores and objective cognitive assessment were significant for several domains. Validation of the SSTICS needs to be completed through further exploration of the factorial structure and testing of the English version.