Predictors of community functioning in schizophrenia and substance use disorder patients

Simon Zhornitsky, Ginette Aubin, Joelle Desfossés, Élie Rizkallah, Tania Pampoulova, Olivier Lipp, Jean Pierre Chiasson, Emmanuel Stip, Stéphane Potvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Community functioning is a broad term that encompasses various 'real world' measures of disability among schizophrenia patients. It includes outcomes such as independent living, social competence and behavioural problems - all of which are priorities for treatment among schizophrenia patients, mental health care providers, and family members. An important goal for rehabilitation programs is to identify predictors of community functioning which, in turn, could be used as targets for intervention. The present case-control study examined socio-demographic and substance use disorder (SUD) variables as well as psychiatric, extrapyramidal, and cognitive symptoms as predictors of community functioning in schizophrenia patients with (DD patients; n = 31) and without comorbid SUDs (SCZ patients; n = 31), and non-psychosis substance abusers (SUD patients; n = 39). Psychiatric and extrapyramidal symptoms were evaluated with the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale, the Calgary Depression Scale for Schizophrenia and the Extrapyramidal Symptoms Rating Scale. Cognition was evaluated using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (speed of processing, explicit and working memory). In SCZ patients, community functioning was predicted by explicit memory performance. In DD patients, community functioning was predicted by substance abuse, depression and speed of processing. In SUD patients, community functioning was predicted by substance abuse, positive symptoms and education. Our results suggest that cognition should be among the top treatment priorities in SCZ patients, whereas the key treatment targets in DD patients should be substance abuse and depression. Future studies will need to replicate the current findings, using prospective research designs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-322
Number of pages6
JournalCommunity Mental Health Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Community functioning
  • Depression
  • Memory
  • Schizophrenia
  • Substance use disorder

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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