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Adapting social neuroscience measures for schizophrenia clinical trials, Part 2: trolling the depths of psychometric properties.

  • Author(s): Kern, Robert S
  • Penn, David L
  • Lee, Junghee
  • Horan, William P
  • Reise, Steven P
  • Ochsner, Kevin N
  • Marder, Stephen R
  • Green, Michael F
  • et al.
Abstract

The psychometric properties of 4 paradigms adapted from the social neuroscience literature were evaluated to determine their suitability for use in clinical trials of schizophrenia. This 2-site study (University of California, Los Angeles and University of North Carolina) included 173 clinically stable schizophrenia outpatients and 88 healthy controls. The social cognition battery was administered twice to the schizophrenia group (baseline, 4-week retest) and once to the control group. The 4 paradigms included 2 that assess perception of nonverbal social and action cues (basic biological motion and emotion in biological motion) and 2 that involve higher level inferences about self and others' mental states (self-referential memory and empathic accuracy). Each paradigm was evaluated on (1) patient vs healthy control group differences, (2) test-retest reliability, (3) utility as a repeated measure, and (4) tolerability. Of the 4 paradigms, empathic accuracy demonstrated the strongest characteristics, including large between-group differences, adequate test-retest reliability (.72), negligible practice effects, and good tolerability ratings. The other paradigms showed weaker psychometric characteristics in their current forms. These findings highlight challenges in adapting social neuroscience paradigms for use in clinical trials.

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