The importance of clinical normative data for conceptualizing neuropsychological deficits in people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Objective: To create clinical normative data tables for Norwegian patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders, to examine whether clinical normative data from Norway differs from similar normative data from Canada and the U.S., and to illustrate the usefulness of such data. Method: A nationally representative sample of 335 patients from psychiatric hospitals in Bergen, Norway was included. Inclusion criteria were 18–39 years of age, Norwegian as first language, and symptoms of schizophrenia, psychosis, or hallucinations. Comorbid substance abuse was recorded in 134 (40.0%). All completed the Norwegian version of the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS). Results: The average scores of patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders were approximately one to two standard deviations below the mean for healthy adults. There were no significant differences in scores between patients with or without comorbid substance abuse. Men had higher scores than women. Clinical normative reference value look-up tables were created. Conclusions: Clinical normative values were very similar to values from Canada and the U.S. Clinical normative data, as a supplement to standard healthy normative data, can be used to describe patients’ cognitive performance in terms of expectation for their peer group which can be useful for multidisciplinary treatment planning.