Cognition and functional outcome among deaf and hearing people with schizophrenia

Heather K. Horton, Steven M. Silverstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Recent research has highlighted the relationships between impairments in cognitive functioning and poorer functional outcomes among people with schizophrenia (PWS). The purpose of this study was to replicate and extend this work by testing the relationships between cognition and functional outcome among deaf adults with schizophrenia. Empirical findings from deafness-oriented research reveals enhanced abilities in certain aspects of visual-spatial processing compared to hearing people. Sixty-five PWS (34 deaf, 31 hearing) were assessed using measures of verbal and visual memory, attention, and visual processing. The first hypothesis tested whether cognition predicted functional outcome in a similar fashion for both deaf and hearing subjects (n = 63). For all subjects, higher levels of cognitive ability were associated with higher levels of functional outcome, and the strongest predictors of outcome were verbal memory and visual-spatial memory (recall condition) (VSM recall). However, the deaf and hearing groups did show different patterns of relationships between cognition and functioning when all cognitive variables were examined. The second hypothesis was that deaf subjects would display superior performance in early visual processing, visual-spatial memory (copy condition) (VSM copy), and VSM recall. Deaf subjects displayed superior performance on each task; however, no significant differences emerged. Deaf subjects outperformed hearing subjects in an unexpected domain (word memory/recognition). This study extends prior work in the area of cognition and schizophrenia and indicates that deaf and hearing subjects may benefit from interventions that address different domains of cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-196
Number of pages10
JournalSchizophrenia Research
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Aug 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry


  • Cognition
  • Deafness
  • Functional outcome
  • Schizophrenia
  • Social cognition
  • Social functioning


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